In 1532, Henry VIII acquired what was then marshland from St James' Hospital with a view to creating a park around the palace that he intended to build here. The park has evolved over the centuries. In the 19C, Nash helped to embellish the park by creating Carlton House Terrace, adding railings, planting trees and creating a small lake. The oldest park in London, St James's is renowned for its colourful flowerbeds, its pelicans and wild birds. A beautiful, tranquil spot in the heart of the city.