George IV's influence
Despite his general apathy, George IV did have plans for one area
of the royal estates at Kew and Richmond. In 1819, while still Prince
Regent, he began negotiations for Hunter House, and in 1820 he bought
it and its six acres, along with Meyer House, directly across Ferry
Lane. He intended to demolish the Dutch House and to adapt or replace
Hunter House and Meyer House to create a new building, King's Lodge.
As part of this grand scheme, George applied to Parliament to close
the portion of Kew Green that lay in front of them and to the east,
and in 1824 Parliament agreed.
In 1825 George built imposing new gates, complete with lodges,
to mark his new entrance. These forced the closure of the old entrance
to the Botanic Gardens, so a new entrance was created, for which
he built new double gates. The public side of George's new main
gates were marked by a line of lime trees which still survive along
a path now known as Birdcage Walk.
Notably, George IV finally secured the 20 acres of land on which
the Pagoda and the Pagoda Wilderness stood. The lease had expired
in 1819 and in 1822 the owner gave it to the crown in exchange for
land on the other side of Kew Road. His final royal edict regarding
the estate at Kew and Richmond was in 1827, when he ordered the
demolition of the unfinished Castellated Palace. George IV died
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Gardens in decline