The Crystal Palace Park is English Heritage Grade II listed and located within the London Borough of Bromley and on the boundary of the London Boroughs of Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark. It is one of the largest parks in South London and one of the most significant parks in Britain. The park now home to the National Sports Centre, a number of recreational activities and a variety of heritage features. There is much to enjoy on your visit.
The Crystal Palace and Park were built by Sir Joseph Paxton's Crystal Palace Company between 1852 and 1855.
The park was created to be the magnificent setting for the relocated and enlarged Crystal Palace, which Paxton had built and designed for the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park. The site was designed to impress, educate, entertain and inspire, eventually becoming an international attraction.
The main educational themes for the park were discovery and invention. The geological illustrations and the full scale models of the dinosaurs were pioneering and the technical engineering of the Palace itself was sophisticated.
The iconic dinosaurs were the Victorians' answer to Jurassic Park. Sculptor and fossil expert Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and founder of the Natural History Museum Richard Owen erected the model dinosaurs when the park first opened. They were the first artistic representations of dinosaurs of their size and have been enjoyed by both younger and older generations for over a century. Don't forget to take your smart phone so that you can enjoy the free audio guide while exploring these majestic creatures.