Raising the first Pillar at Sydenham, 1852

The Times 6 August 1852 Page 5 Col. A

The Crystal Palace - raising the first Pillar at Sydenham 1852 At Half-past 2 o’clock the visitors, guided by a programme which had been delivered to them, assembled round the spot where the first pillar of the palace was to be planted; and shortly afterwards a procession advanced, proceeded and marshalled by Mr Harker, the toastmaster.

Six workmen bearing a large and handsome banner, inscribed “Success to the Palace of the People”, were followed by Mr Laing, MP (the Chairman of the Crystal Palace Company), Mr F Fuller, and the other directors.

The column was immediately raised and inserted in its socket, three young lads assisting in this operation. A bottle was deposited under the pillar, containing coins of the realm and a paper bearing the following inscription: -

This column,
the first support of
The Crystal Palace,
a building of purely English Architecture,
destined to the recreation and instruction of
The Million,
was erected on the 5th day of
August, 1852,
in the 16th year of the reign
of Her Majesty Queen Victoria,
by Samuel Laing, Esq., MP.,
Chairman of the Crystal Palace Company.
The original structure of which this column forms part, was
built, after the design of Sir Joseph Paxton, by Messrs. Fox,
Henderson, and Co., and stood in Hyde Park, where it received
the congratulations of all nations,
at the World’s Exhibition
in the year
of our Lord

----------------------------------------“I, your glass,
Will modestly discover to yourself
That of yourself which yet you know not of.”

Mr Laing, having screwed the column into place amid loud cheers from the assembled company, proceeded to give an address to the assembled.

At the conclusion of this address a Royal Salute was fired, the band played the National Anthem, and the assembly cheered enthusiastically for the Queen and the Palace of the People.

The company then proceeded to a large and handsome tent, erected by Mr Edginton, under which an excellent dejéuner was served by Mr Heginbotham of the British Hotel, Cockspur Street. Arrangements had been made for the reception of 500 guests, but the number present exceeded the expectation, and probably 600 were in fact accommodated.

Copyright Crystal Palace Foundation 2012
Compiled By Melvyn Harrison, Chairman