An autumnal walk around Crystal Palace Park
Dinosaurs, sphinxes and stations.
(Photos November 2007, words Feb 2008, © urban75)
Fresh from our trudge around Sydenham, we braved the fading light and f-f-freezing temperatures to take a stroll around Crystal Palace park.
Crystal Palace transmitter, built in the mid-1950s on the site of the old Aquarium.
At 222 m (728 ft) high, the tower was the tallest structure in London until the skyscraper at One Canada Square tower at Canary Wharf was built in 1991.
The remains of one of Brunel's pumping stations, used to supply the fountains in the old Crystal Palace.
Inside the Crystal Palace Museum.
Stairs, sphinxes and transmitter.
Crystal Palace colonnade.
With funds raised by public subscription, this bust of the master architect Sir Joseph Paxton was unveiled at a Fete in June 1873, marking the 20th year of the Palace.
Now stuck forlornly by a car park on a cheap-looking brick plinth, the Grade II listed bust originally stood on a huge brick affair looking towards the Palace building over a large pool.
The back of Joe's 'ead revealing the name of the sculptor, William Woodington.
Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, opened in 1964.
Curious white pyramid things.
Football ground with the 15,000 capacity athletics stadium in the background.
We stopped off for a tea in the no-frills cafe in the park.
With the light fading fast and the park about to close, we took a walk by the lake where you can find 'life-sized' models of dinosaurs and other extinct creatures.
In 1852, the sculptor Waterhouse Hawkins was hired by the Crystal Palace company to create 33 life-size concrete models of extinct dinosaurs, a job that took some three years.
Collaborating with the English biologist and palaeontologist, Sir Richard Owen and other leading scientists, Hawkins was given some idea of the size and look of the models, with one of the Iguanodons (above) being so large that a 20-strong dinner party was held inside on December 1853.
The lack of light added an air of mystery and realism to some of the concrete models.
A look across the lake.
An Ichthyosaur seen next to a Plesiosaur.
Modern deer sculpture.
You can still feel some of the grandeur of the impressive Crystal Palace (Low Level) station, which was opened on 10 June 1854 by the West End of London and Crystal Palace Railway to take the crowds to the Palace.
Sporting French and Brighton Pavilion influences, a 720ft (216m) colonnade used to provide sheltered access to the Palace.
The cavernous station serves lines to London Victoria, West Croydon, London Bridge , Beckenham Junction and Smitham.
The station stands by the junction of two lines, with the these platforms serving the Sydenham route, with more modest platforms on the southern spur to Beckenham Junction.
In 1911, the line was electrified between Balham and Crystal Palace on 12 May 1911, and the timetabled journey time of fifteen minutes to Victoria has never been equalled.
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