The Crystal Palace: the world's most famous conservatory01/10/2015
If you were a person of note in Victorian Britain, then chances are you would have shelled out three guineas to attend the opening weekend of the Great Exhibition held in Hyde Park in 1851. Notable attendees included the Exhibition’s patron Prince Albert, Charles Darwin, Charlotte Bronte and the newly inaugurated Poet Laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson. They paid the fee (equivalent to over £300 in today’s money) to experience the new scientific wonders of the age. Innovations in science and technology on display included a leech-powered barometer, a precursor to the fax machine and a camera that could capture your likeness on a daguerreotype (hard plate photography would not be invented for another twenty years).
However, the wonder that everyone went home talking about was the enormous glass building in which the construction was housed. Originally nicknamed the Great Shalimar, the building was quickly rechristened in popular culture with a name which may sound a bit more familiar: The Crystal Palace.
The Crystal Palace was over half a kilometre long and its interior height reached a staggering 39 metres. Its designer, Sir Joseph Paxton, was able to utilise advances in cast plate glass technology to construct this behemoth of a conservatory entirely from sheets of glass attached to an iron frame. It stood in Hyde Park for six months before being dismantled and reconstructed in a park in Sydenham Hill near Croydon. The professional football team that shares the Palace’s name was founded at that site in 1905 and played home matches there until the purpose-built Selhurst Park was completed in 1924.
Sadly the Crystal Palace burned down in 1936. A crowd of over 100,000 people gathered to watch the blaze (a turnout that the football club can only dream of).
Our glass constructions may not be on the scale of the Crystal Palace but, in addition to our standard conservatories, we can combine different conservatory types to build you a bespoke room. Drop into one of our showrooms in Wymondham and Diss for a consultation or call us on 01603 600505.