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James Pennethorne and Victoria Park, London

Historian Tristram Hunt investigates the history of public parks: How James Pennethorne created the first 'people's park' in east London.

James Pennethorne created Victoria Park in east London for some of the poorest people in the capital.

The space may have resembled Regent's Park with grand carriageways and vistas, but the workers made it their own as they congregated to discuss politics and to bathe in the grand lakes before the park had even officially opened.

Historian Tristram Hunt continues his history of the people and ideas behind the creation of public parks.

Producer: Erin Riley

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in January 2007.

15 minutes

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