|Following the restoration of the Crystal Palace Subway, the second phase of works in the Crystal Palace Park Regeneration Plan have begun. These works focus on two areas of the Park:
Tidal Lakes and Geological Court
In March 2023, this phase received a significant boost when the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) awarded over £300,000 to develop our plans for the Tidal Lakes and Geological Court.
With this valuable funding secured, we have now appointed HTA Design, an award-winning inter-disciplinary design practice, to lead on plans for both the Italian Terraces and the Tidal Lakes.
A second application, to secure the full £5m grant will be submitted to the NLHF in May 2024 with a decision expected in autumn 2024.
Restoration plans are also benefiting greatly from ongoing research by Historic England, in partnership with Bromley Council, the Friends of Crystal Palace Park Dinosaurs and the Crystal Palace Park Trust. This work includes new scanning, material analysis and archival research being undertaken to develop a holistic repair strategy and ongoing maintenance plan for the internationally important dinosaurs.
Digital 3D scans produced as part of this work by Historic England and the Friends of Crystal Palace Park Dinosaurs can be viewed here.
Once the restoration is complete, the Grade I listed dinosaurs will once again be removed from Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register and these spectacular creatures will continue to intrigue and fascinate many more generations to come.
Following the successful award of £2.8m grant funding, much needed works to restore the Crystal Palace Subway are now underway. 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 site is now closed whilst the restoration works are underway.
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 includes 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 the project due to complete in winter 2023. To date, 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.
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: https://cpsubway.org.uk/history.
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The National Sports Centre (NSC) is located at the heart of Crystal Palace Park. It is a Grade II* listed building owned by the Greater London Authority. The Mayor is committed to delivering a once-in-a-generation redevelopment of the CPNSC, securing a sustainable future for the community sports facilities and encouraging participation in movement and physical activity.
A GLA team with experience of redeveloping sporting venues has been set up to lead the project. The team are working with consultants to develop long-term proposals for the future of the centre.
In October 2023, the team held a public information day to update on works so far and next steps. The My Palace Programme was also launched, in collaboration with Beyond the Box, which includes new paid opportunities for young Londoners to inform the regeneration.