St. James Park menagerie in United Kingdom

St. James Park menagerie
First elephant arrived1623
CountryUnited Kingdom
Relevant literature

St. James Park menagerie, located in London, in United Kingdom, was founded in 1603 and the first elephant arrived in 1623.

Comments / pictures

In 1532, Henry VIII purchased the area of swampy marshland, often flooded by the Tyburn, from Eton College. This land lay to the West of York Place, recently acquired by Henry from Cardinal Wolsey; it was purchased in order to turn York Palace into a dwelling fit for a king. On James I´s accession to the throne in 1603, he ordered the park drained and landscaped, and kept exotic animals in the park, including camels, crocodiles, and an elephant, as well as aviaries of exotic birds along the south.


In his book The Tower Menagerie, Daniel Hahn recounts the strange case of an elephant given to King James I by his Spanish counterpart in 1623. "Throughout his short but rather pleasant life this animal was given nothing to drink but wine, a gallon a day," the author wrote. (That elephant was actually housed in St James´s, rather than the Tower)

References for records about St. James Park menagerie

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan (2020). St. James Park menagerie, Elephant Encyclopedia. Available online at (archived at the Wayback machine)

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Categoriesprivate in United Kingdom | United Kingdom portal

This document was updated: 2020-10-30 07:03:11

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Established 1995
Established 2006
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