A walk around Crystal Palace park
A summer walk around a south London park.
(Photos July 2007, words Jan 2008, © urban75)
The park lies within the London Borough of Bromley and was named after the famous Crystal Palace structure which was moved to this site a few years after the 1851 Great Exhibition.
Situated in one of the highest locations in London, the park afford some great views from its 367 feet (112 metres) height.
Gardens by the west entrance to the park.
Crystal Palace Museum, housed in the only surviving building constructed by the Crystal Palace Company.
Built around 1880, the building originally served as a classroom for the Crystal Palace Company's School of Practical Engineering.
The base of Brunel's South Tower, one of two massive water towers constructed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel to feed the many fountains and cascades in the site. The two biggest water jets reached 250 feet (76 m) high.
Discarded pedalo, some distance from the nearest lake!
Looking east over the site of the Crystal Palace.
Paxton's Crystal Palace was a truly colossal huge iron building, decked out with more than a million feet of glass.
Exhibits showcased the finest Victorian pottery and porcelain; ironwork and furniture; steam hammers and hydraulic presses; perfumes and pianos; houses and diving suits; firearms and barometers; fabrics and fireworks.
Major concerts were hosted inside the Palace's huge arched Centre Transept, which boasted the world's largest organ.
Cultural and sporting events were also held nearby, with the Palace remaining a popular attraction until it was completely destroyed by fire in 1936.
All that was left standing of this grand venture was the two water towers, and these were taken down during World War II because it was feared that Germans would use them to navigate their way to London.
Sphinx sculpture in in Crystal Palace Park.
Grand set of stairs now leading nowhere in particular.
Two tall TV transmitter towers - Crystal Palace Transmitter (640ft) and Croydon Transmitter (500ft) - dominate the area.
Looking out over the park.
The grand stairs give some indication of just how massive Paxton's Crystal Palace must have been.
The distinctive open air stage in the park, which features a yearly free festival featuring local bands.
See: The Bowl Music Festival, 2007
The stage is on the site of the legendary Crystal Palace Garden Parties, which hosted rock luminaries such as The Faces, Pink Floyd, Elton John, the Beach Boys, Joe Cocker, Roxy Music, Lou Reed and Eric Clapton.
See: The Bowl Music Festival history.
I know everyone takes this picture but it's an irresistible photo-op!
View of the long colonnade which stood at the front of the Palace.
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