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Battersea Park was opened by Queen Victoria in 1858 and covers the 198 acres between Chelsea Bridge and Albert Bridge.
Its position on the bank of the Thames overlooking the Royal Hospital makes it a favourite place for workers on their lunch break. The view to the east is rather less than stellar, however, taking in Battersea Power Station.
The most famous event in Battersea Park’s short history was a mock duel between the Duke of Wellington and Lord Winchelsea in 1829, who, after letting their argument get rather out of hand, both refused to back down.
They haughtily marched into the park with pistols in their pockets before common sense prevailed. After deliberately shooting into the sky they both shook hands and went home.
The park was also the site of an assassination attempt on King Charles II in 1671.
The park contains a couple of nice surprises to delight the casual visitors. The first is a small children’s zoo, and the second one is a huge Chinese pagoda – complete with a twenty-feet tall golden Buddha! This was erected in 1985 by London’s Japanese Buddhists to commemorate the bombs that dropped on Hiroshima.
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