Egyptian Court, North Transept of the Crystal Palace, Sydenham, 1854.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A view from Matthew Digby Wyatt's (1820-1877) book 'Views of the Crystal Palace and Park, Sydenham', published in 1854. A popular feature of the Crystal Palace was a series of 'courts', each illustrating the art and architecture of a great period in history. Wyatt and architect Owen Jones collaborated on the design of these courts. The most spectacular of these was the Egyptian Court, complete with sphinxes and enormous statues. After housing the Great Exhibition in 1851 the Crystal Palace was dismantled in Hyde Park and rebuilt on a site at Sydenham, south east London, reopening in June 1854. The 'Palace of the People' as it became known, was a huge success as the world's first 'theme park'.