'Rotten Row, Hyde Park, London', late 19th-early 20th century. Rotten Row is a broad track running along the south side of Hyde Park, established by William III at the end of the 17th century. Having moved court to Kensington Palace, William wanted a safer way to travel to the previous St. James's Palace. Lit with 300 oil lamps in 1690 it became the first artificially lit highway in Britain. The track was called Route du Roi, French for King's Road, which was eventually corrupted into Rotten Row. Postcard.