Crystal Palace On Fire, 1936



The cause of the fire that destroyed the Crystal Palace is unknown, although an electrical fault due to old wiring is suspected.

At first it was not believed to be serious but with so much dry old timber flooring it spread rapidly.

Broken glass panels in the roof had been replaced with boarding and as the heat rose these caught fire turning the transepts into chimneys.

A strong northerly wind did the rest and by the next day all that remained were the two transepts and a tangled mass of iron and melted glass.

All attempts to rebuild have ended in failure. The two towers were demolished during World War II and much of the statuary was sold off in the 1950s.

Apart from the TV transmitter, all that remains today are crumbling terraces and the park.

Photograph taken on 30th November 1936. Copyright: Kenneth Talbot.