GLA 7: Crystal Palace Geological Illustrations

GLA 7: Crystal Palace Geological Illustrations
Recommended RIGS
London Borough of Bromley, TQ 345 705
Ownership: Local Authority. Public open space

The Crystal Palace Dinosaurs are located at the southern edge of Crystal Palace Park. They were designed and sculpted by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins between 1852 and 1854 under advice from Sir Richard Owen. The collection includes 15 complete model specimens of dinosaurs and mammals, although more had been planned until funding was cut. The models are now known to be largely inaccurate due to a lack of information at the time of design but provide a fascinating insight into the thinking at the time of construction.

Several periods of neglect and movement lead to the models becoming damaged. A full restoration project was completed in 2002 and the site now has excellent footpaths and explanatory signs. The new signs give information about the models and how modern interpretations of the creatures differ to the models and are available as iPhone apps and on the internet*.

The animals are set on strata of appropriate age. There are also two man-made exposures illustrating geological resources.

The Green Chain Walk (www.greenchain.com/walks/section-10.php) goes through Crystal Palace Park and the ‘Geological Illustrations’ are described in GA Guide 68, pp 117-130.

* www.audiotrails.co.uk/dinosaurs (available as an iPhone App.) Created by Dan Boys, Audio Trails from an initiative of Alister Hayes, London Borough of Bromley.

Anoplotherium models
Source: London’s foundations, page 135

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Site Map OS Topography © Crown Copyright
Source: London’s foundations, page 134

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