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A Timeline History of Crystal Palace (Upper Norwood)

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A timeline history of Upper Norwood (Crystal Palace) with prints, photographs and maps
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Anerley Road Guide

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The South London Guide

Crystal Palace was known as Upper Norwood. The name Norwood is derived from the (Great) North Wood which once covered North Surrey and stretched from Croydon to Camberwell.

Mediaeval Norwood

Upper Norwood passed to Whitehorse family in reign of Edward III.

Tudor Norwood

In Tudor times timber for Golden Hinde, being built in Deptford, came from Norwood.

Stuart Norwood

1652 The diarist, John Evelyn, was robbed in Norwoood.

John Aubrey described Norwood as 'a great wood... belonging to the See of Canterbury'.

Became a refuge from the Plague.

Georgian Norwood

1747 Rocque's map showed Great North Wood being reduced by commons.

Beginning of enclosure of Norwood area.

Upper Norwood now a small suburb.

Large houses built on Crown Lane.

All Saints church opened on Church Road. Designed by James Savage (Grade II listed).
Beulah Spa opened  by Lady Essex as a place of entertainment. The gardens were laid out by Decimus Burton (1800-1881)who also designed the Spa House and The Lodge.

Beulah Spa opened.

Early Victorian Upper Norwood

1837 South Metropolitan Cemetary was consecrated.

Crystal Palace moved from Hyde Park to Sydenham Hill. More info


Crystal Palace and West End Railway line opened. Much house building.

Queens Hotel opened on Church Road

Mid Victorian Upper Norwood

1862 Stanford (Edward), Library Map of London and its Suburbs

St Saviour's Almhouses opened in Hamilton Road.

High Level station opened at Crystal Palace

1867 Christ Church built on Gipsy Hill.

1870 The Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) moved to Upper Norwood.

Late Victorian Upper Norwood

1887 St John the Evangelist opened on Auckland Road. Designed in Gothic Style by John Loughborough Pearson (1817 -1897).

1895 FA Cup finals held at Park Hill Park (?) - now CP Athletics track

Emile Zola stayed at Queens Hotel, Upper Norwood           
He photographed the Crystal Palace

Edwardian Upper Norwood

1905 Crystal Palace FC formed (played at Palace until 1914)

1908 Map of Edwardian Norwood

The Photodrome cinema opened at  65 Westow Hill

Upper Norwood Library opened on Westow Hill.

1911 Festival of Empire at the Crystal Palace

Norwood Park opened.

Upper Norwood in WW1

1914 Crystal Palace Football ground became Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve training establishment

Inter-War Upper Norwood
1922 War memorial added o corner of Westow Street and Church Road (relocated in 1956). Designed by William Butler.

Crystal Palace FC moved from the Crystal Palace in Upper Norwood to The Nest in Selhurst.
Feb:  Crystal Palace FC V Notts Forest Film

Speedway racing at Crystal Palace Gardens began 

Rialto Cinema opened at 25 Church Road (later Granada)

Albany Cinema opened at 19 Church Road (later Century)

Rare film of the Crystal Palace before the fire of 1936.

Crystal Palace destroyed by fire. Newsreel film

1937 Motor-car racing at Crystal Palace began

Upper Norwood in WW2

1941 16 April: North towers & old aquarium demolished. Gardens requisitioned for war use.

Flying bomb attacks

Post war Upper Norwood         

1951 Crystal Palace reopened as a LCC park

Crystal Palace Zoo opened.

Crystal Palace High Level Station and Branch line closed


1955 Croydon transmitting station opened at Beulah Hill for ITV (a new 499 ft high tower replaced it in 1962).

 Crystal Palace BBC TV transmitting station opened - 708 ft high. It succeeded the Alexandra Palace transmitter.
War memorial moved to Westow Street.

Concert Bowl added to Crystal Palace Park as an outdoor stage for classical concerts.

1964 The National Sports Centre opened in Crystal Palace Park as one of five for the UK. It consisted of an athletics stadium (capacity of 15,500+) and an indoor sports building designed by Norman Engleback (1927-2015).
1967 film of the new Sport Centre

Crystal Palace Garden Parties at Crystal Palace Bowl ran until 1980 as one day Rock Festivals. Groups included: Pink Floyd, Beach Boys, Lou Reed & Eric Clapton.

1974 Last motor race held in grounds of Crystal Palace Park.

Bob Marley (1945-1981) played his last concert at the Crystal Palace Bowl.

Crystal Palace Museum opened on Anerley Hill. 

 Old Crystal Palace Concert Bowl demolished.

 New Crystal Palace Concert Bowl added. Designed by Ian Ritchie Architects. 

 Crystal Palace station now served by London Overground as well as mainline trains.

The Phoenix Suburb - Alan Warwick (1972/RP 2009 Norwood Society)
Racing At Crystal Palace. A History Of Motorsports At London's Own Race Circuit 1927-1972
- Phillipp Parfitt (MRP 1991)
Palace of the People: The Crystal Palace at Sydenham 1854-1936 - Jan Piggott (Hurst 2004)
100 Years of Crystal Palace Football Club - Nigel Sands (NPI Media group 2005)


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