The marshy site was acquired in 1532 and drained for a deer park by Henry VIII, who built St James's Palace as a hunting lodge. In the C17th St James's Park was remodelled for James I and later for Charles II, who opened it to the public. Its formal layout had avenues of trees, lawns and a rectangular canal extending for c.900m. In 1828-9 it was drastically re-landscaped by John Nash, and his undulating landscape essentially remains, the lake the central feature with an island at each end, belts of trees along boundaries, extensive lawns and winding paths. Pulham & Co constructed various works in 1895 and 1899, including rockwork on the lake edge, 'Cormorant & Pelican islands' for the park's birdlife and a small rocky pool along the inner bank of the island.