Thanks to £2.8m grant funding, much needed works to restore the Crystal Palace Subway were undertaken between 2022-2023. The site is partially located under Crystal Palace Parade, situated on the edge of Crystal Palace Park and forms part of the Council’s wider Regeneration Plan to restore and rejuvenate the Park. The restoration of this structure will ultimately remove the Subway from Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register, making the site safe for future generations to enjoy.

The Crystal Palace Subway Restoration Project

With the support of the Friends of Crystal Palace Subway (FCPS) and Historic England, the Council appointed award-winning conservation architects Thomas Ford & Partners in May 2020, to undertake the restoration of the Grade II* listed Subway. The project required detailed survey work to understand the current condition of the structure.

Planning approval was granted in January 2022, which included the provision of a new roof over the East Courtyard to replace the roof that was destroyed in the Crystal Palace fire of 1936.

Once completed, it is envisaged that the Subway will be removed from the Heritage at Risk Register and will be safe for the public to enjoy. The project has provided an extraordinary opportunity to secure a sustainable future for the much-loved community asset, which is of significant historical importance.

In February 2022, specialist conservation contractors, DBR Limited, were appointed to complete the restoration works of the Subway. Subsequently, works on the Subway’s restoration began in Spring 2022 with works onsite completing in November 2023. Extensive restoration works have been undertaken, including the structural remedial works to the North Elevation, the West Courtyard gates have been installed and all masonry cleaning is complete.

In addition to the work outlined above, during the excavation of the Upper-South Stair, a half stone landing, complete with its surrounding brick walls, was uncovered. This discovery revealed that the stair had a different configuration that had been outlined on all previous historic drawings, demonstrating that the North and South stairs were not symmetrical as previously thought.

On completion of the restoration works, the Subway will be handed over to the Crystal Palace Park Trust who will manage the site as a multi-use space.


First opened to the public in 1865, the Subway was originally designed by Charles Barry Jnr, and provided access to the Crystal Palace from the High-Level Station. The main structure of the Subway is a series of spectacular vaults, built from red and cream brick, with an elaborate floor paved in two alternating types of stone.

The Subway is one of the last remaining features of the original Crystal Palace after the 1936 fire. It has an international following and a dedicated Friends group, who have worked for many years to secure the future of the site. Further information on the Subway and its history can be found on the FCPS website:

More Information

For more information about the project, please visit: or

To enquire about hiring the Subway for events, please contact the Trust:

For any queries, please contact:

Image of Subway before the restoration
Historic England
Vaults of the Subway
CGI of the restored ticket hall with glass gable roof
Crystal Palace Park Concert Platform

Concert Platform

In 1996, Ian Ritchie Architects won a competition to design a permanent concert platform in Crystal Palace Park. The structure, which is largely made of oxidised Corten A steel, was designed on the principles of nature, gravitas, levitas and simplicity. It hosted its first concert in August 1997, and won the Civic Trust Award in 1998 as well as being shortlisted for the Stirling Prize the same year.

The Platform has hosted some iconic musicians and performers, including Bob Marley, Elton John, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, but over the years fell out of use and into disrepair.

The Crystal Palace Park Trust led a hugely successful #BackTheBowl community crowdfunding campaign. Thanks to the supporters of the campaign and the generosity of the Mayor of London and funds secured by the Trust’s commercial revenue, a new platform surface was installed in July 2022. Constructed with long-lasting, low-maintenance marine hardwood, it marks the end of the first phase to revive Crystal Palace Bowl and sets the stage for many more wonderful performances and activities over the coming decades. The next phase aims to modernise the backstage area and improve access to the venue.

The Trust assumed the lease for the Platform in April 2023 and it has now been brought back into action with regular performances. Please visit the Trust’s website for more information.

Improvement scheme

The Crystal Palace Park Improvement Scheme delivered more immediate improvements to the park. This was made possible with £2.4 million of funding from the Greater London Authority, Historic England and Bromley Council. Works began in June 2015. They completed in June 2019 and included:

  • A new skatepark
  • Conservation of a number of the Grade I listed dinosaurs, Grade II listed sphinxes and south terrace steps
  • Installation of interpretation boards around the Tidal Lake and dinosaur island
  • Landscaping and removal of disused structures
  • A new café and community space
  • Removal of turnstiles and improvement to access points
Crystal Palace Park Dinosaurs
Crystal Palace Skatepark
Skating images courtesy of Iain Borden

Crystal Palace Skatepark

Crystal Palace Skatepark opened in March 2018 and has proven consistently popular.

The 1,100m2 skatepark sees skateboarding return to Crystal Palace Park, one of its historic homes. It was here that the first UK national skateboarding competition took place in 1977. The skatepark is the product of intensive collaboration between skatepark firm Canvas, Kinnear Landscape Architects, local riders and the Friends of Crystal Palace Skatepark. The design blends a highly contemporary approach while referencing the historic context of the park.

The skatepark is open during daylight hours, and to all users.

Brown & Green LIFE Café

The new Crystal Palace Park café opened to the public in May 2019. It was designed by Chris Dyson Architects using half round cedar shingles that imitate the scales of the nearby dinosaurs.

Bromley Council is pleased to be working with café operator, Brown & Green. The ground floor is a dedicated café space, and the first floor is a community event space available for private hire. Community use is at the heart of Brown & Green’s business so corporate hire is limited to a maximum of 50 per cent of usage.

More information can be found on the café’s website.

Brown & Green Cafe - Crystal Palace Park

Megalosaurus Prothesis Repair Works

In October 2020, the Grade 1 Megalosaurus experienced extensive damage to its head, particularly to large parts of the upper and lower jaw, following unauthorised access to the dinosaur island during the COVID-19 lockdown period. As a result, Bromley Council worked with partners Historic England and the Friends of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, to secure funding to undertake the necessary repair work to the jaw of the famous Megalosaurus in Crystal Palace Park. The works, which included the installation of a replica prosthetic jaw, were completed in May 2021.

This impressive sculpture was the first ever life-size reconstruction in 1854 of the first dinosaur recognised to science, making it the star of the internationally beloved, Grade 1 listed historic site.

The prosthesis was fabricated primarily from plastic, using white light scanning and 3D printing processes to recreate the fragmented section of the jaw. The 12 kg prosthesis has been attached to the head of the Megalosaurus, using interior metal hangers and iron rods, which have added stability to the body. The replacement sections have been painted to match the original features of the sculpture.

The Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs