Are there remnants of a civil war fort in Hyde Park?

IMG 7020 - Are there remnants of a civil war fort in Hyde Park?

The memorial to the 7/7 victims of the atrocities in July 2007 was opened in 2009 and is sited in a kind of shallow hollow quite hidden from adjacent Park Lane by what is known as Curzon Gate.

These so called 17th Century earth-works stretch past the 7/7 memorial in Hyde Park

These so called 17th Century earth-works stretch past the 7/7 memorial in Hyde Park


Historians claim the memorial is actually sited on the remains of defences built for the English civil war.
The aforementioned earthworks can be seen in Hyde Park, parallel to Park Lane, running from the bus stop near the Achilles statue to roughly level with the Dorchester Hotel.
Vertue's map of the 23 civil war forts - Hyde Park's ringed red. Source: Fortified Places

Vertue’s map of the 23 civil war forts – Hyde Park’s ringed red. Source: Fortified Places


It is alleged these earthworks once supported a gigantic fort known as Number 16 on the map drawn by George Vertue. This, the Hyde Park fort, was the biggest of 23 military forts plus walls built to surround the city of London during the period 1642-47.
One can almost visualise the 7/7 memorial sort of representing armed men, with their rifles held at shoulder, marching out of a gate at this very point in this Hyde Park fort to practice their manouvers in the park itself.
However that is not reality. These earthworks are in fact a modern product, possibly created from the works to widen the old roads along the east side of Hyde Park into the present Park Lane’s three-lane carriageways.
Royal Parks' 20th century built mounds confirmed as 17th century vintage!

Royal Parks’ 20th century built mounds confirmed as 17th century vintage!


Even the Royal Parks perpetuate the gaffe confirming their own park’s mounds as 17th Century vintage 🙂
The Hyde Park 7/7 memorial & alleged 17th C mounds. Dorchester Hotel at left

The Hyde Park 7/7 memorial & alleged 17th C mounds. Dorchester Hotel at left


The old Ring roadway (later known as East Carriage Drive) was a twin carriageway with a broad walk running along its west side. These actually stood on the line of these alleged civil war mounds as shown below.
Hoppe's 1930 view to Stanhope Gate & Dorchester - taken from where the mounds are

Hoppe’s 1930 view to Stanhope Gate & Dorchester – taken from where the mounds are


Old maps and many photographs confirm this fact. The picture taken by Emille Otto Hoppe in 1930 which I found on E Bay, shows a completely flat area where it is said these 17th century mounds existed!
A big military salute to honour the king was conducted on Sunday 3rd December 1944. Known as the Home Guards Stand-Down parade, it involved over 7,000 Home Guards who paraded in front of the King, Queen and the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret at Stanhope gate, and no 17C mounds can be seen. In fact there cant be any because these would have been much further east!
A look through the pictures from the Queen’s coronation in 1953 plus aerials at Britain Above (and zooming in closely on the areas in question) reveal absolutely no mounds of any sort. One example from 1949 is shown below.
Stanhope Gate aerial 1949. 7/7 memorial site marked. Source Britain from above

Stanhope Gate aerial 1949. 7/7 memorial site marked. Source Britain from above


We do know there was a fort in Hyde Park. John Roque’s map of 1746 does show mounds which would appropriate roughly where the present mounds are, however as it stands these were ultimately levelled and what we see today are simply 20th century creations. If one goes by the approximate placement of the Rocque map onto a modern map, as shown below, it is obvious the site of the actual fort was much further east.
ll1 1 - Are there remnants of a civil war fort in Hyde Park?
The above and below maps are from the Locating London’s Past website. This consists of comparing Rocque’s 1746 map (anamorphically corrected) with modern maps and satellite views. The exact same location shown on Rocque’s map equates to a location within the present Stanhope Gate area, which along with the Dorchester Hotel, clearly stand in the area where the Hyde Park fort was actually built.
map2017 - Are there remnants of a civil war fort in Hyde Park?

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *