Regent's Park was originally private, a place for the rich and aristocratic residents to enjoy without being troubled by the unsightly, smelly and disorderly proletariat.
The entrances were guarded by uniformed beadles who were housed in elegant little lodges like this one, built as the West Lodge but now known as Hanover Gate Lodge.
The lodge was designed in about 1822 by Sir John Nash, and was originally flanked by iron gates. Elegant statues stand in niches on the Park side, presumably made of Coade stone. They seem to represent the seasons, possibly spring and autumn, though bits may have dropped off over the years.
The Park was opened to the public in 1835, initially for just two days a week. Eventually, however, the beadles left, the gates were removed and the lodge became a bijou residence, albeit one in the middle of its own bijou traffic island.