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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
18th November 1905 George Bernard Shaws Major Barbara, premieres in London
18th November 1852 State funeral of duke of Wellington (London)
18th November 1836 Born today: William Schwenck Gilbert, London, composer (Gilbert and Sullivan)
The Crystal Palace Subway
Gorgeous vaulted subway that is currently closed to the public.
Location: Crystal Palace Parade, Crystal Palace
Description: This Grade II listed subway is one of the last remaining vestiges of the great Crystal Palace Exhibition, the main building of which was destroyed by fire in 1936.
It's a pedestrian underpass built in 1865 to allow visitors to pass from the railway station to the grounds of the Crystal Palace without crossing the muddy road here. London Brighton & South Coast Railway opened the station and subway on 10th June 1854 and visitors walked along a 720ft glass covered colonnade.
It remains impressive, it consists of a wide vaulted and tiled Byzantine-style chamber designed and built by Italian cathedral craftsmen. The roof is supported by a series of splendid octagonal pillars of red and cream brick interlaced with stone ribs.
Like most stations it was used as an air raid shelter in World War II, but since then has been closed to the public.
An ongoing campaign to re-open the subway continues, see the link above.