Wednesday 11 April 2012

Crystal Palace Station

I've never counted the steps at the station, but I know there are enough for weary travellers to be driven to distraction. I've heard tales of mothers with prams, and people on crutches going out of their way to use other more distant stations. You may well ask why the puny outdoor staircase and the feeble ersatz Crystal Palace ticket hall exist at all, when there is an imposing Victorian structure next door, built for that purpose. Poor Mr. Paxton must have turned in his grave.
In true 'Norwoodian' spirit, the last couple of years has seen a campaign by locals on Facebook and elsewhere to re-open the old building and install the long promised lifts. The good news is that this is now happening. I was very fortunate to be allowed access to photograph the interior of the Victorian building prior to the refurbishment. While my day job entails photographing sleek and polished interiors for their creators, I've always seen great beauty in decaying or derelict structures such as this.
I would like to thank local campaigner, Gill Wing for organising the tour of the building, and Julian Moosai from London Overground for allowing us access.

Ticket hall with doors leading directly to stairs and soon to the lifts as well.

Ornate shadows cast by the Victorian ironwork.

The ghostly outline of the former ticket booth can be seen against the wall.
And the tour doesn't end there. Much to my surprise and delight, I was allowed upstairs, and onto both the roof of the tower, and the station roof itself...

Inside the tower

What a view!

The soon-to-be-redundant 80s annexe, over the parapet. Paxton can once again rest peacefully.


  1. These are utterly sublime. What a treat for you as a photographer to have been given access.. stunning!

    The are too many favourites to list. The ones with the yellow wrought iron and the staircase with the green and white stencilled banister are exquisite.

    I love derelict places.. they have the footprint of what has been and the anticipation of what could be.. great stuff James!

  2. I used to live just off the park moved away just over 10 years ago now in brighton .. good to remember some of the old buildings .. did you know there is a maze of tunnels under the whole area some of which can be accessed from some of the station buildings photographed but most have been blocked off these days!!

  3. Excellent photos, James. Well done, and thank you. These make a superb contribution to the recording of local history. Had to chuckle at the photo of the interior of the station tower. I wonder if future generations will look at the Tesco shopping bag hanging from the wooden bannister, and ponder over what its purpose and significance might have been back in the early part of the 21st century!!

  4. Oh I love Crystal Palace so much. I wish the ticket hall could be refurbished and made into a place where we can have balls or something equally opulent.