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The Royal Parks will this week unveil the final part of a programme of improvements to Primrose Hill - a William Blake inscription, which links the contemporary and historical appeal of the summit.

The popular area, which receives millions of visitors every year and is synonymous with peerless views of London, now features the Blake quote:

'I have conversed with the spiritual sun. I saw him on Primrose Hill'.

A new York Stone summit edging supplied by Rand and Asquith, has been inscribed with the quote. Martin Shepherd - one of the Friends of The Regent's Park and Primrose Hill - researched possible inscriptions and identified several quotes from a variety of sources.

Nick Biddle, The Regent’s Park Manager, said:

"The Blake inscription is appropriate for many reasons, but I love it because it sums up so well the experience of standing on Primrose Hill in the early morning light. It is always a wonderful experience."

The main works carried out by English Landscapes took ten weeks to complete and were necessary to provide adequate seating and surfacing for the large number of visitors the site receives. Richmond Park sawyers produced the new oak benches, two of which are dedicated benches.

In December 2010 after consultation with The Primrose Hill Community Association, The Friends of The Regent's Park and Primrose Hill and local residents, The Royal Parks submitted a planning application for the improvements. The completed plan has resulted in:

  • Better drainage to protecting turf from erosion
  • Golden Gravel Surfaced tarmac
  • A wider viewing area for visitors
  • Double the number of benches at the summit
  • Updated and more robust interpretative panel produced by Walk England and showing heights and dates of London landmarks

The inscription, managed by Triton Building Conservation, was designed and hand carved by Will Davies over three weeks, in all weather conditions.

The unveiling is being held on the summer solstice (Thursday 21 June) and guests, including a number of school children from local primary schools, will be able to enjoy the expanded viewing area with spectacular views across The Regent's Park and the City of London beyond.

The Field Studies Council will be offering educational activities including: meadow sweeping, sensory activities, tree investigations and Open Air Laboratory nature exploration, all against the backdrop of grassland beautifully restored by The Royal Parks' landscape contractor, Veolia.

Ruth Holmes, Head of Landscape for The Royal Parks said:

"I am delighted that this much loved summit has been improved. So many people come here to enjoy the view and now they have more space to congregate, sit in groups or quietly contemplate. Will's craftsmanship has provided a wonderful finishing touch to this viewing point."

Will Davies, Carver & Letter Cutter said:

"The lettering is based on a brush drawn Trajan font. I used a broad font with no fancy bits so the inscription will bear the shoes of all the admirers taking in the view, although I hope that the font does justice to the elegance of the quote.

"It has been a lovely job to do. You couldn't wish for a more picturesque office and I'll miss all the regulars who make it to the top of the hill every day."

Gary Brown, Triton Building Conservation, said:

"We are delighted to be part of this and to sponsor the refreshments. We are particularly pleased to help The Royal Parks deliver such a special project, in such an iconic location."

The Regent's Park and Primrose Hill

About The Regent's Park, Primrose Hill and The Royal Parks

Every year millions of Londoners and tourists visit Regent's Park and Primrose Hill. Regent's Park, one of the capital's eight Royal Parks, covers 410 acres and includes the stunning internationally renowned Queen Mary's Garden which features more than 30,000 roses of 400 varieties as well as the gloriously restored Victorian formality of William Andrews Nestfield's Avenue Gardens. With excellent sports facilities spanning nearly 100 acres it includes the largest outdoor sports area in central London.

The Park also houses the Open Air Theatre and London Zoo while the rural character and dramatic views from nearby Primrose Hill have made it a popular place with Londoners. Regent’s Park is home to the country's largest free to access waterfowl collection and is a vital resource for wildlife at the heart of the capital. Over 100 species of wild bird can be seen in Regent's Park each year, many breeding on site, and it is the only place in Westminster where hedgehogs still thrive.

The Royal Parks are: Bushy Park, The Green Park, Greenwich Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, The Regent's Park and Primrose Hill, Richmond Park and St James's Park. The Royal Parks also manages Victoria Tower Gardens, Brompton Cemetery, Grosvenor Square Gardens and the gardens of 10, 11 and 12 Downing Street.

For further information please visit: www.royalparks.org.uk

For media enquiries contact: 0300 061 2128 or press@royalparks.gsi.gov.uk

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