Following the Norman invasion of England in 1066, Westminster Abbey owned the manor of Hyde until it was acquired from them by Henry VIII.
Originally a deer park, access to the public began under James I and Charles I subsequently opened it to all in 1637.
It has been used for music events such as the Live 8 benefit concert and Proms in the Park.
Over the years it has attracted many protest movements, including marches against the Iraq War, in favour of women's rights and Reform League protests in the late 1860s.
Those nineteenth century protests led to the creation of what is now known as Speaker's Corner, where members of the public are free to air their political views.
As well as a significant political history, Hyde Park was also the site of a terrorist attack in 1982 when two bombs which were believed to have been linked to the Provisional Irish Republican Army went off.
The attacks caused the deaths of eight members of the Household Cavalry and Royal Green Jackets and seven horses.
The largest of London's parks, it is the home to a number of sports clubs including the Serpentine Swimming Club members who swim in the Serpentine Lake literally come rain or shine.
Temporary seats will be built in June 2012 to accommodate 3,000 spectators and the course will be marked out for competitors hoping to win gold.