List entry

List entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

Name: PREHISTORIC ANIMAL SCULPTURES, GEOLOGICAL FORMATIONS AND LEAD MINE ON ISLANDS AND ON LAND FACING THE LOWER LAKE

List entry Number: 1067798

Location

PREHISTORIC ANIMAL SCULPTURES, GEOLOGICAL FORMATIONS AND LEAD MINE ON ISLANDS AND ON LAND FACING THE LOWER LAKE, CRYSTAL PALACE PARK SE19

The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County District District Type Parish
Greater London AuthorityBromleyLondon Borough

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: I

Date first listed: 29-Jun-1973

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Aug-2007

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 358429

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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History

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Details



785/4/209 CRYSTAL PALACE PARK SE19 29-JUN-73 PENGE / BECKENHAM PREHISTORIC ANIMAL SCULPTURES, GEOLOGI CAL FORMATIONS AND LEAD MINE ON ISLA NDS AND ON LAND FACING THE LOWER LAKE (Formerly listed as: CRYSTAL PALACE PARK SE19 PENGE / BECKENHAM 27 PREHISTORIC MONSTERS ON ISLANDS AND ON LAND FACING THE LOWER LAKE)

GV I Sculptures of prehistoric animals with associated geological strata including lead mine. Constructed between 1852 and 1855 for The Crystal Palace Company on a twenty acre site. The prehistoric animals were constructed out of re-constituted stone on a framework of iron rods on brick plinths by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, an artist and sculptor who specialised in natural history subjects, with advice on their authenticity by Sir Richard Owen. The associated geological strata and lead mine were probably laid out by David Thomas Ansted, consulting geologist, but constructed by James Campbell using geological rocks. The landscape was designed to represent the geology of Britain from the Primary (Pre-Cambrian and Lower Palaeolithic) rocks through the Secondary (Upper Palaeolithic-Upper Cretaceous) and Tertiary (Tertiary and Quaternary) eras with economic rocks, geological structures and reconstructions of associated animals and reptiles on the lakeside and islands. To the south west of the site facing the lower lake is a cliff constructed to illustrate the coal formation with old red sandstone at the base, new red sandstone above and mountain limestone and millstone grit above this. To the south west of this is a thre quarters scale representation of a Derbyshire lead mine with cave complete with stalactites. To the east is the Secondary island illustrating the Secondary era with geological features including tilted red sandstone and in turn Lias Oolite and Wealden rocks, surmounted by chalk at the head of the island. On top of the rocks are reconstructions of animals recovered from these geological formations, two Dicynodonts and three Labrinthodonts from New Red Sandstone, three Icthyosaurs and three Plesiosaurs from the Lias, two Teleosaurus, two Pterodactyls re-constructed in fibreglass of the Oolite and Chalk, one Megalosaurus from Stonefield Slate and its prey from the Weald, two Iguanodons and one Hyaelosaurus and the chalk marine monster Mosasaurus. Originally the lake water rose and fell as the park fountains played, alternately submerging and revealing the aquatic animals. Separated from the Secondary island by a weir is the Tertiary island with animals placed on a geological backdrop of worked aggregates representing this era's relatively unconsolidated rocks. These comprise two Palaeotheriums and three Anoplotheriums from the Paris basin, one Megatherium from South America and four Megaceros or "Irish Elk". Further planned reconstructions for the Secondary era and none of the Primary era were ever constructed becase the project ran into financial difficulties and was terminated in 1855.

STATEMENT OF IMPORTANCE: This was the first attempt to accurately re-construct the three dinosaur species known to the scientific world by the 1850s within their geological environment and the sculptures and associated geological strata form a unique display of the state of palaeological understanding in the 1850s, opened five years before the publication of Darwin's "Origin of Species". Of exceptional historic interest in a national and probably international context.

[Samuel Phillips "Guide of the Crystal Palace Park" 1854. "Country Life" 14th Nov 1968. Steve McCarthy and Mick Gilbert "The story of the world's fist prehistoric sculptures" Published by The Crystal PAlace Foundation 1994. Various publications by Peter Doyle 1993-2002.]

Selected Sources

  1. Article  Reference - Title: 14 November - Date: 1968 - Journal Title: Country Life
  2. Book  Reference - Author: McCarthy, S and Gilbert, M - Title: Crystal Palace Dinosaurs: The Story of the World's First Prehistoric Sculptures - Date: 1994

National Grid Reference: TQ 34487 70522

Map

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This copy shows the entry on 23-Apr-2014 at 06:11:17.