Crystal Palace Site Before Construction, 1852



Prior to the arrival of the Crystal Palace, the ridge top site and the park were the grounds of Penge Place, rebuilt in the Tudor style by Edward Blore earlier in the century.

This may be the building shown on the right in this view. It was latterly owned by Leo Schuster, a director of the London - Brighton Railway.

By 1852 Penge Common at the foot of the hill was being sold off as building plots.

Realising that his picturesque view was about to be lost and that the Crystal Palace would generate huge revenue for his company if sited in Penge, Schuster, a friend of Joseph Paxton, sold Penge Place and its grounds to the Crystal Palace Company before moving to Roehampton.

The church in the distance is the newly constructed St John's, which opened in 1850.