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The Dinosaurs at Crystal Palace Park

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Time 10:00
Date 18/07/13
Price Free

One of London's hidden gems, explore the original theme park dating back to 1854.

The dinosaur park was built six years before Darwin himself had published his Origin of Species.

Sir Joseph Paxton, who constructed Crystal Palace Park, collaborated with a team of eminent and visionary men to incorporate within its layout the world's first prehistoric sculptures. This included the renowned Victorian scientist and Professor of Anatomy Richard Owen, who first termed the phrase Dinosauria meaning 'Terrible Lizards'.

The sculptor Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins worked with Paxton and Owen, among others, to create the dinosaurs known at that time.

The display and landscape area depicted a journey through prehistoric time. There were life-size dinosaur statues together with other prehistoric reptiles and mammals, and examples of geology, spanning 350 million years of Britain's evolution.

The park has recently re-opened with the dinosaur models and landscape returned to its former glory. The restoration programme was made possible by contributions from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Government's SRB scheme and Bromley Council. The meticulous restoration has involved painstaking work by palaeontologists, landscape architects and palaeobotanists. The dinosaurs original colours were carefully researched and have been re-applied as closely as possible. Repairs or replacement of the models and geological exhibits match those originally used. Two new Pterodactyls and a Limestone Cliff have been reconstructed, according to historic records.

The dinosaur park is free to visitors and is found at the South end of the park near the main entrance on Thicket Road.

Enjoy the audio trail here.

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