One of six protected viewpoints in London, the area now known as Primrose Hill was once a private hunting park for Henry VII before it was endowed to Eton College. The land was acquired from the College in 1841 as part of plans to extend parkland for use by the less wealthy people of North London for open-air recreation. The summit is 63 metres above sea level with almost 360˚ views over London city. The trees are trimmed regularly to ensure the views are not spoilt. Inscriptions on a York stone edging on the Summit contains words from English poet William Blake – ‘I have conversed with the spiritual sun. I saw him on Primrose Hill.’ On the slope of the hill grows Shakespeare’s Tree. Originally planted in 1864 to mark the 300th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth, the oak tree was replaced in 1964. Set in the middle of a park, with an air of silence and surrounded by the peaceful sounds of the tropical birds of the nearby London Zoo, Primrose Hill is one of few places in London where the public can go to escape city life.
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