No. 730: Blackhorse Road, E17
Blackhorse Road, London, E17. Photo © Roger Dean 2012
London by Day and Night; or, Men and Things in the Great Metropolis – David W. Bartlett, 1851:
The building [Crystal Palace] was opened on the first day of May . The morning was a chilly one, yet very early all the avenues leading to Hyde Park were crowded almost to suffocation, with masses of enthusiastic people. Business was generally suspended throughout London, and all those parts not contiguous to Hyde Park wore an air of loneliness and desertion. The shops all shut, few people to be seen, the streets silent – strange sight for London! But the Park itself was one hugh sea of human faces – everywhere near it, in all directions, there were great crowds of people, all eager and anxious to get a sight of the Crystal Palace and the Queen, who was soon to enter it.
The holders of season tickets alone were admitted that day, and at an early hour they flocked to the doors of the building in such force that a Company of Sappers and Miners were called in to enforce order. By half-past eleven o’clock, twenty-five thousand persons had arrived and were seated under the crystal roof of the Palace of Exhibition; then the doors were closed. The view of these thousands in that wondrous interior was splendid beyond description. The élite of the world was there – the flower of England!