Crystal Palace Park Dinosaurs Getting A Glow-Up - As Part Of Huge Park Revamp

Crystal Palace Park Dinosaurs Getting A Glow-Up - As Part Of Huge Park Revamp
The Crystal Palace Dinosaurs
Crystal Palace is home to the oldest dinosaur sculptures in the world. Image: HTA Design.

Crystal Palace Park's dinosaurs may not be Jurassic, but they are still pretty ancient.

When unveiled in 1854, Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins' beloved saurian sculptures were the first of their kind anywhere, and have long been Grade I listed.

Mock up of the Italian Terraces covered inn wildflowers
The Italian Terraces will be made more pleasant too. Image: HTA Design.

Now — as part of a £17.5 million regeneration project for Crystal Palace Park commissioned by Bromley Council, and to be carried out by HTA Design — the dinos are getting a glow-up. The original landscaping vision of Jospeh Paxton, designer of the Crystal Palace, will be restored to the park's 'tidal lake' area, with layers of overgrown vegetation and sediment build-up removed, and a new layer of rock outcrops, gravel formations and paleo-inspired planting added. This will, says HTA Design, 'enhance the geological narrative', and 'reignite visitors' imagination'.

A dinosaur-themed play area will also be added nearby — sure to be an instant hit, because what child doesn't appreciate a good brontosaurus-shaped slide or set of pterodactyl swings*?

An illustration of the improved park
An illustration of how the top of the park will be improved. Image: HTA Design.

That's just one aspect of planned improvements to the 200-acre park. The beautiful-but-bare Italian Terraces — which once led up to the Crystal Palace, and are home to numermous sphinxes — will have their walls restored, be planted with wildflowers and grasses, and be utilised more for events. Step free access will also be added. And this is just Phase 1 of the regeneration, with more to come.

Says Natalia Roussou, Landscape Design Director at HTA Design: "This is a significant milestone for the Crystal Palace Park Regeneration, not only for restoring its original features, but also creating a park for the future that is climate resilient, biodiverse, inclusive and can cater for a wide range of events and activities."

The plans do, however, stop short of building an ersatz Crystal Palace on the site of the old one — an idea that has been semi-seriously mooted down the years.

*We made this particular play equipment up, but are available for brainstorming if the fee's right

Last Updated 19 March 2024

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