Bushy Park in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames is the second largest of London’s Royal Parks, at 445 hectares (1,100 acres) in area, after Richmond Park. The park, most of which is open to the public, is immediately north of Hampton Court Palace and Hampton Court Park and is a few minutes’ walk from the west side of Kingston Bridge. It is surrounded by Teddington, Hampton, Hampton Hill and Hampton Wick and is mainly within the post towns of Hampton and Teddington, those of East Molesey and Kingston upon Thames taking the remainder.
In September 2014 most of it was designated a biological Site of Special Scientific Interest together with Hampton Court Park and Hampton Court Golf Course as Bushy Park and Home Park SSSI. The park is Grade I listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.
The area now known as Bushy Park has been settled for at least the past 4,000 years: the earliest archaeological records that have been found on the site date back to the Bronze Age. There is also evidence that the area was used in the medieval period for agricultural purposes.
When Henry VIII took over Hampton Court Palace from Cardinal Thomas Wolsey in 1529, the King named three parks that make up modern-day Bushy Park and a small area beside: Hare Warren, Middle Park and Bushy Park. A keen hunter, he established them as deer-hunting grounds.