As with Monty Python and the People’s Front of Judeah listing what the Romans missed, so we can often forget the genius of some Victorians.
One such near me was the creation of the Crystal Palace which was reconstructed on the top of Sydenham Hill after its one year in Hyde Park in 1851.
This extraordinary celebration of ingenuity lasted until the 1930s when a fire rendered it rubble.
Today we have a few signs of what was once there..
There’s one small section of the original glasshouse frame
The bust of Joseph Caxton, the designer
The odd statue
And the dinosaurs…
But the thing that stands out for me and which was first opened to the public on this day in 1863 was what today would be a concrete tunnel.. a subway connecting the newly built high level railway that was to service the park with the main exhibition hall.
Naturally being Victorians they went totally over the top..
Recently money has been found to restore this entrance into the park.
Hopefully public access will be restored. Meanwhile we have to make do with occasional openings. Still it’s good to know it’s there..