'The New Crystal Palace at Sydenham', 1852-53.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by H Bibby. Designed by Sir Joseph Paxton to house the Great Exhibition of 1851 in Hyde Park, the Crystal Palace was reconstructed and enlarged in Sydenham in 1852. The first column was raised on 5 August 1852 and the palace was opened by Queen Victoria on 10 June 1854. Many exhibitions and events were subsequently held at the Crystal Palace until it burnt down on 30 November 1936. The park contained a motor racing circuit from 1937 until 1972 and the famous athletics track dates back to the foundation of the Crystal Palace Athletics Club in 1868.