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The Original Crystal Palace Park
The Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851 The great exhibition of 1851 was devised and organised by Queen Victoria's German Husband Prince Albert to publicise Great Britain's military, industrial and economic superiority at that time. The showcase of the exhibition was the Crystal Palace which was originally designed by Sir Joseph Paxton in only 10 days and was a huge iron framework with over a million feet of glass. The exhibition was originally located in Hyde Park and was moved to the Crystal Palace site at Sydenham in 1852.

The construction (or reconstruction) of the Crystal Palace on the Beckenham borders in 1852-54 had far reaching effects. It was an enormous glasshouse ablaze with light and visible from almost every part of the parish. This made the surrounding area instantly very fashionable and prompted the development of many large houses. The Crystal Palace was famously destroyed by fire in 1936, to this day the cause is unknown, but an electrical fault was suspected. All that remains today are a few crumbling terraces and the parkland.
*Link to official site for viewing Visitor Information*

Crystal Palace Park Today (Please click on thumbnails to view larger image)
Crystal Palace Park
A view across Crystal Palace Park
The Ialian Terraces
The Italian Terraces
The National Sports Centre
National Sports Centre
For many years the Crystal Palace Park site had been allowed to slowly deteriorate and decay. But at last a £4m restoration project commenced in 2001 on the "Prehistoric Dinosaur Court", that was one of the educational features of the original exhibition. This was largely completed by Summer 2003 and both restored and new exhibits are now on display in a new landscaped setting called the 'Prehistoric Monster Trail'. There were anatomical errors in the original models and these have been retained to maintain authenticity with the Victorian originals.

Sadly the continued restoration of the Park has got bogged down in red tape and plans for the refurbishment of the National Sports Centre and other facilities are likely to grind on very slowly. It has been promised that the restoration of "The Farm" (formerly Pets Corner) will continue in 2004. This famous park in a prime location deserves to be given a new lease of life, and we must hope that the promised refurbishment will be completed in the shortest time possible.

For a map of the park together with a full listing of all the facilities please click here Crystal Palace Park Map and Legend.

A selection from the new Crystal Palace Monster Trail (click on thumbnails to view larger image)
Dinosaurs- Ichthyosaurus
'Dinosaurs'- Ichthyosaurus
Dinosaurs - Iguanodon
'Dinosaurs' - Iguanodon
Dinosaurs - Mosasaurus
'Dinosaur' - Mosasaurus