Duck Island dates from the original use of St James's Park as a hunting park.
Charles II, who converted it to a baroque park, created the post of of 'Governor of Duck Island' and William III had the first lodge built. It was destroyed in 1771 and rebuilt after 1840, as a Picturesque cottage designed by John Burges Watson. In 1953 it was nearly demolished but, instead, was noticed by Royal Fine Art Commission and preserved as a keeper's cottage. In 1994 it became the HQ of the London Historic Parks and Gardens Trust. They created a cottage garden in the Arts and Crafts style. Since this approach to planting grew out of the Cottage Ornée, it was a highly appropriate choice. Duck Island is now the best place in Central London to see this highly influential approach to gardens and planting design.
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Open to the public