Handel Festival, Crystal Palace, 1926



Although not designed with it in mind, music was nevertheless an important part of the life of the Palace throughout its history.

Beginning with the "Great Handel Festival" of 1857, which was organised by the Sacred Harmonic Society, an organisation run by the then manager of the Palace, the huge Central Transept proved an ideal venue for such events.

Many varieties of music were accommodated, especially after the fire of 1866 when a redesign of the layout resulted in a purpose built concert hall being included.

The Handel festivals became regular events staged every three years from 1859 to 1926 in what became known as the Handel Auditorium.

By the 1920s Handel was out of fashion, being considered too Victorian, and despite Henry Wood modernising the 1926 event it proved to be the last.