On the seventh day of Christmas the 1862 Committee gave to me… seven Swans a Swimming
Alexandra Palace – The People’s Palace – was opened in 1873. Using some of the materials which had originally been used to construct the building which hosted the 1862 International Exhibition, the site was envisaged as a public centre for recreation in north London, an equivalent to what the re-located Crystal Palace had become in south London. The large scale, grand brick palace was located in grounds which included an outdoor swimming pool, a racecourse, a Japanese village, a nine-hole pitch-and-put golf course and a boating lake. Till this day, the boating lake still exists; plastic swan pedalos swimming leisurely cross its serene waters.
© Helen Cresswell and Ruth Mason, 2013