Facts about Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace History
The ridge and the historic oak tree is known as The Vicars Oak was used to mark parish boundaries. This has led to the Crystal Palace area straddling the boundaries of five London Boroughs; Bromley, Croydon, Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham. The area also straddles three postcode districts; SE19, SE20, and SE26. The ancient boundary between Surrey and Kent passes through the area and from 1889 to 1965 the area lay on the south eastern boundary of the County of London.
For centuries the area was occupied by the Great North Wood, an extensive area of natural oak forest that formed a wilderness close to the southern edge of the then expanding city of London. The forest was a popular area for Londoners’ recreation right up to the 19th century when it began to be built over. It was also a home of Gypsies, with some local street names and pubs recording the link. The area still retains vestiges of woodland.
Crystal Palace is an area in south London, England, named after the Crystal Palace Exhibition building which stood in the area from 1854 until it was destroyed by fire in 1936. Approximately 7 miles south-east of Charing Cross, it includes one of the highest points in London, at 367 feet, offering views over the capital. The area has no defined boundaries and straddles five London boroughs and three postal districts. Although there are a Crystal Palace electoral ward and Crystal Palace Park in the London Borough of Bromley.
The district was a natural oak forest until development began in the 19th century, and before the arrival of the Crystal Palace, it was known as Sydenham Hill. The Norwood Ridge and a historic oak tree were used to mark parish boundaries. The area is represented by three parliamentary constituencies, four London Assembly constituencies and fourteen local councillors.