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The Crystal Palace Sydenham (London)

As you enter the park from the Anerley Hill entrance, the faded grandeur that was once the site of the reconstructed Great Exhibition of 1851 spread out before you, an expanse of neglected but still loved stone, archways; grand staircases and overgrown esplanades. Some statues still remain but only one is whole, this looks east toward Penge and Sydenham and the distant boroughs of London and the county of Kent.

As you enter the park from the Anerley Hill entrance, the faded grandeur that was once the site of the reconstructed Great Exhibition of 1851 spread out before you, an expanse of neglected but still loved stone, archways; grand staircases and overgrown esplanades. Some statues still remain but only one is whole, this looks east toward Penge and Sydenham and the distant boroughs of London and the county of Kent.

To the rear of the Grand staircase sit four sphinx in groups of two each with their own plinth like bookends on yet another set of stairs.. these sadly to nowhere, if you look up one group forms the base for the Crystal Palace Tower.. and all its 
telecommunications. The Crystal Palace as it became known was moved from Hyde Park to this site in 1854 and opened by Queen Victoria on June 10th of that year. Its Original home had only been intended for six months after the Great
Exhibition and a new site had to be found that could accommodate such a large structure.

The Crystal Palace was originally designed by Sir Joseph Paxton in only 10 days and was a huge iron goliath with over a million feet of glass. It was an important statement for the building to be grandiose and innovative as it represented all that was powerful and industrious in Britain at the time. Within it’s glass walls were displayed 13,000 exhibits and it had over 6,200,000 visitors.

The Crystal Palace was home to many events in its history in 1911, The Festival of the Empire. In the 1860’s the first football team was formed and subsequent matches played in the grounds. Motor racing; athletics and television all had strong connections here, athletics of course still continues at the sports center.

Its incredible to think that so many people wandered about this site  before its sad demise in 1936 when on 30th November it succumbed to an all consuming fire, which could be seen for miles around. Today the remains of the site are grade II listed and hopefully will enjoy some sympathetic redevelopment in the future. At present one can happily wander and only imagine what the crowds would have been like  and the awe inspiring structure of the building itself.

www.lomohomes.com/kylewis

written by kylewis

2 comments

  1. stouf

    stouf

    Some great multiple exposures in here !

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  2. kylewis

    kylewis

    "Lomographer was here!"

    over 4 years ago · report as spam