If you’ve not been to Crystal Palace Park and seen the dinosaurs then I highly recommend doing so. They’re concrete, life-size and in need of some restoration. By modern standards I guess they’re not that impressive but when you consider they were made 150 years ago – before they even really knew what most of these dinosaurs actually looked like – then I think that makes them all the more impressive. There’s even little information boards showing what we now reckon the animals really looked like and I love they fact they took some pretty dramatic artistic liberties.
The park itself is named after the famed Crystal Palace that housed the Great Exhibition of 1851 in Hyde Park before being dismantled and reconstructed in South London where it sat from 1854 until it was destroyed by fire in 1936. The area is also famous for it’s TV transmitter which, at 219 metres, is the fourth tallest structure in London. The park also features in ‘The Italian Job’ in the scene filmed at the athletics track in Crystal Palace sports centre where Michael Caine says “You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!”. So there you have it. An ode to Crystal Palace.