Design for the Garden in the Regent’s Park


This is the earliest design for the Zoological Gardens produced by Burton, on a scale of roughly 1 inch to 150 feet. It differs dramatically from the finished state of the gardens, with the intention seemingly to confine the majority of the animals to the dens beneath the terrace and to devote the rest of the land to extensive aviaries. Several small structures are placed amongst the winding paths, but none appear substantial enough to contain anything other than small mammals and birds.

Now part of the British Library’s collection, this was the personal copy of Sophia, the widow of Stamford Raffles and was presumably presented in June 1827. It is accompanied by a small sheet of paper addressed ‘To Lady Raffles From the President and Council of the Zoological Society’, as well as an explanation of the plan and a brief prospectus of the Society.

Full title:
Design for the Garden in the Regent’s Park, belonging to the Zoological Society
1827, London
Lithograph / View
Decimus Burton, Thomas Dighton
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library
Maps 3620.(26.)

Full catalogue details

Related articles

The gardens at Kew

Article by:
Jocelyn Anderson
Town and city

From 1757 the royal grounds at Kew were transformed with a fabulous scheme of ornamental buildings and pleasure gardens. Engravings in the King’s Topographical Collection document the project, which was undertaken for George III’s mother Augusta. Jocelyn Anderson explores.

Humphry Repton and John Nash

Article by:
Dr Karen Limper-Herz
Transforming topography

In the early 19th century two men influenced the design of the Royal Pavilion at Brighton and its grounds as we know them today – Humphry Repton and John Nash.

Pleasure in pleasure gardens

Article by:
Stephen Bending
Country, Town and city

During the 18th century, public and private gardens were designed as realms for entertainment, polite sociability and leisurely retreat. With reference to items in the King’s Topographical Collection, Stephen Bending explores how pleasure gardens were depicted in contemporary engravings – from the bustling commercial gardens of London to the landscaped parkland of a gentleman’s country estate.

Related collection items