In 1634, Charles 1st created a deer hunting park. Having brought the court to Richmond-upon-Thames to avoid the London plague, eight miles away, this was an ideal location for a favourite aristocratic pursuit . The largest of London's Royal Parks it is now a 'National Nature Reserve' and has over 600 Red and Fallow deer . In the 2012 Summer Olympics the men's and women's cycle road races went through the park .
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