a sunday walk in crystal palace park

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ALIB
Posts: 1541
Joined: 12 Oct 2006 21:34
Location: East Sussex

a sunday walk in crystal palace park

Post by ALIB »

i thought it time this had it's own thread. Todays walk was excellent and many thanks to everyone and especially Falkor. I'll upload some more of my photos later, but thought i'd get the first few up and others can contribute if they wish.

By way of explanation, i thought this was the statue of Joseph Paxton that we were meeting at. WRONG


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I have no idea who this bloke is


Then we have the bust of Jospeh Paxton , where everyone else was waiting for me

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then onto the go kart race track by the NSC.
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and a post (partly submerged) which had something to do with marking a border with Penge
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I'm sorry, but i am just completely mesmerised by the engineering that went into the Crystal Palace. The Victorians were brilliant.
A 375 foot groundwater well of 8 foot diameter was used to supplement the water feature in the park.
Last edited by ALIB on 15 Nov 2009 18:02, edited 1 time in total.

ALIB
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Joined: 12 Oct 2006 21:34
Location: East Sussex

Post by ALIB »

OK, a couple more photos , which some may recognise

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The former cricket pitch where WG Grace played a few games


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The entrance from Thicket Lane

And two pictures of the maze


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ALIB
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Post by ALIB »

the mysterious concrete plinth.

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leenewham
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Post by leenewham »

My feet!

Many thanks to all and especially Falkor for a fascinating walk. It ended up being 5 hours and felt like 2.

I'll post some more images later.

I learnt a lot of things I never knew about. I didn't know it was the first prefabricated building in the world, the fountains and gardens cost more than the palace itself, that there were 13 fountains in total and were the biggest in the world. We found a cast iron column from the palace sticking out of the ground still exists from the original building, we saw some people removing weeds from the North water tower and there was some original pieces of the cast iron structure there (which were bigger than I expected), how the sphinxs were made (I'll post an image of the inside of one later), the original wall in the caravan park, the fact that there were more steps added to the main entrance to the palace to cope with visitor numbers.

There are lots of hidden parts of the park which relate to the palace, which without a guide you pass by without a thought. Once again I marvel at the victorians and am amazed at how we have managed to almost obliterate the memory of these incredible feats of engineering and design under modern blandness.

ALIB
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Post by ALIB »

well i've fixed our electrics, but the tumble dryer is dead.
I felt a tad jealous leaving you at , perhaps, the most interesting section of the walk.

the first picture is just to add a bit of colour
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the concert venue with lake
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Paxton Plaque
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Part of this wall is from the original Palace
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and this is definitely an original wall
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The base of one of the water towers
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2 pictures of part of the aquarium/monkey house
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and that's my lot

lambchops
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Post by lambchops »

yeah, it was good. thanks to everyone, esp falkor

sorry i had to go, i had to check that a job was progressing OK for monday.

i wish i could have seen how the sphinx statues were made.

i want to see the aquatic monkeys too!

leenewham
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Post by leenewham »

They are better than the artic monkeys

ALIB
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Post by ALIB »

with so much steel, glass brick and water, it's been buggin me why the Palace caught on fire

i've been trying to google it, but all the answers are a bit vague.

Apparently the fire started in one of the workers toilets and spread very rapidly and with such an intensity that the steel structure weakened and collapsed.

But which materials were flammable? All i've seen in the photographs are water features, plants, glass , concrete and steel. It all smacks a bit of an insurance swindle , having seen that the park had huge running costs which were barely covered during the depression years of the 30's.

And then we have 9/11 in New York. Another white elephant seemingly destroyed in a freak accident. The owners of the WTC had stipulated that terrorism be included on the building insurance, which is highly unusual.

I'm not convinced that the Palace fire was a genuine accident at all.

Ulysses
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Post by Ulysses »

My understanding AliB is that the basement was open at both ends and of course the floor was wooden. Instead of popping the boards once worn they instead coated them in bitumen to prolong them. As boards would warp/crack and move dust and other rubbish would fall underneath the floors. I can only offer that it was the akin to the Kings Cross disaster in speed, ferocity and reason.

Fire + bitumen + 'fuel' + oxygen = complete destruction.

I would agree with you regarding the swindle angle if it weren't for the CP not being insured. As I understand it when the north transcept and knave burnt down the aquarium came into being precisely because they didn't have the monies to rebuild what was destroyed by fire...

Is this right? Anyone?[/i]

Konqi
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Post by Konqi »

luckily you didn't take the photo of me standing on that tower base.

Yes it was the dry wooden floors with years or rubbish underneath that made perfect kindling that helped burn down the palace, also the wind direction helped.

In the 1866 fire the wind was blowing the other way which helped save most of the building.

There was yet another fire in 1937ish after the palace had burnt down near the remnants of the north side of the palace.

The South Wing that remained until the early 50s was also burnt down by vandals I believe.

The statue is of no one particular to my knowledge and meant to represent "Turkey".

I think the majority of the orangery wall is original, just some sections they have cut off the top and relayed new bricks, which is a cheap way of "fixing" old walls. But I maybe wrong.

ALIB
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Post by ALIB »

Konqi, thanks for the additional info.

Were you the bloke at the tower base this morning who looked to be scratching around ?

Konqi
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Post by Konqi »

Yes I was the one brushing off leaves and clearing off 50+ year old earth off the tower base

leenewham
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Post by leenewham »

Ah, actually I did get a picture of you! I asked you about the metal tubes and if they were parts of the metal structure of the tower.

What were you all doing there? Just clearing the weeds/roots etc? Do you ever do exploritary digs?

Konqi
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Post by Konqi »

oh you meant those tubes I thought you meant the pieces of Iron on the top of the bank.

Those tubes were possibly part of the lift system in the North Tower.


Yes we are excavating and preserving the site otherwise it becomes a jungle.

If you look at aerial photos of the site in 2002 you can barely seeing anything apart from green.

Thomas
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Post by Thomas »

Thanks to everyone, especially Falkor, for such an informative and interesting walk - the five hours really did go quickly. It's just incredible how much there is to learn about the palace.

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