The park was named after Joseph Paxton's Crystal Palace was dismantled and transferred to this area of Sydenham after the Great Exhibition of 1851.
From 1854 visitors flocked here to admire the splendour of the Crystal Palace, and to visit numerous exhibitions, concerts, spectacular fireworks displays, sports events and fairs.
Sadly a fire destroyed the Palace in 1936. Today all that remains of the splendid building are the terraces where the building once stood plus some original retaining walls.
Around the time of the Great Exhibition, Paxton collaborated with others to design and create life-size dinosaur statues for the park with the aim of illustrating the recently discovered process of evolution. Now various grants and extensive restoration mean that the Dinosaur Park is once again open to the public.
Other features of today's park include a maze and a play area with traditional favourites such as swings and slides. The park is also home to the National Sports Centre, host to world class sporting fixtures and concerts.
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