No. 383: Crystal Palace Park Road, SE26
Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, Crystal Palace Park, Crystal Palace Park Road, London, SE26. Photo © Roger Dean 2011
Curiosities of London Exhibiting the Most Rare and Remarkable Objects of Interest in the Metropolis; with Nearly Sixty Years’ Personal Recollections – John Timbs, 1867:
FOOTBALL was played in the twelfth century by the youth of the City in the fields; and five centuries later, we find football players in Cheapside, Covent Garden, and the Strand; Moorfields and Lincoln’s Inn Fields. There is an old print of football play in Fleet-street.
[...] Gay, in his Trivia, gives this picture of the place [Covent Garden]:-
“Where Covent-garden’s famous temple stands,
That boasts the work of Jones’ immortal hands,
Columns with plain magnificence appear,
And graceful porches lead along the square.
Here oft my course I bend, when lo! from far
I spy the furies of the foot-ball war:
The ‘prentice quits his shop to join the crew-
Increasing crowds the flying game pursue.
Oh! whither shall I run? the throng draws nigh;
The ball now skims the street, now soars on high;
The dexterous glazier strong returns the bound,
And jingling sashes on the penthouse sound.”