Crystal Palace Park, London

Survey Base were thrilled when we were appointed to revisit this historic site, once the home of the Crystal Palace that gave the park its famous name.

The Crystal Palace was a huge glass and iron construction, originally built back in 1851 for the Great Exhibition held in London’s Hyde Park. This was the idea of Prince Albert, head of the Society of Arts at the time who wanted to show off Britain’s industrial achievements to the world. Countries that included France, USA, Russia, Turkey and Egypt attended the exhibit to marvel at this great event.

After the exhibit finished in 1851, the designer Sir Joseph Paxton had the idea of moving the Crystal Palace to a site in Penge Place Estate, Sydenham. Penge Place, now called Crystal Palace Park, was owned by a friend of Paxton and in 1852 the rebuild on the new site began.

The rebuild was completed in 1854 and measured an astonishing 1,848 feet long and 408 feet wide. The Palace and the surrounding grounds became the world’s first theme park, that offered entertainment, a rollercoaster, cricket matches and even several FA Cup finals on what is now, the National Sports Centre.

The Palace was to meet its end in 1936 however as a fire broke out within the structure. By the morning most of the Palace was destroyed and the Palace that once dominated the London park was gone. There are still a few remains left today on the site, that have been Grade II listed due to the historical significance.

Our brief was to provide a topographical survey of the grounds that included the college and the neighbouring museum. Due to it being such an extensive survey, our surveyors were on site for a week picking up the topography of the area as well as tree information for the arboriculturalist who has the task of maintaining the trees within the park. This was another outstanding survey for our team who appreciate the history of the sites we have the pleasure of visiting, and it will be one that lingers in the memory for a while to come.

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