Event    From 1/5/1851  To 15/10/1851

Great Exhibition

From the V&A website:
"The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations was held in the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London. It was the first international exhibition of manufactured products and was enormously influential on the development of many aspects of society including art and design education, international trade and relations, and even tourism. The Exhibition also set the precedent for the many international exhibitions which followed during the next hundred years."

Six million people came to visit the exhibition in the Crystal Palace designed by Joseph Paxton.

The Great Exhibition memorial behind the Albert Hall gives the following:
"Opened by Her Majesty Queen Victoria, May 1st 1851.
Closed October 15th 1851
Number of visitors: 6,039,195
Total Receipts: £522,179
Total Expenditure: £335,742
Number of exhibitors: 13,937
viz. British - 7381, Foreign - 6556
Size of building: 1848 feet by 456 feet
Architect - Sir Joseph Paxton
Contractors - Fox and Henderson"

The Great Exhibition was not only the first such event but it was also the only one to make a profit.

The Exhibition drew large numbers of sightseers to the area. This prompted the equestrian performer, William Batty, to erect an open-air amphitheatre, known as the Grand National Hippodrome, or Batty's Hippodrome, on an undeveloped site nearby, now occupied by De Vere Gardens, shown on this map. This closed when the Exhibition closed.

If you wish to see a remnant of the Great Exhibition go to Floris in Jermyn Street, which is lined with lovely wood and glass cabinets salvaged from the Exhibition. There is also a little Floris perfume museum at the back, and the staff won't mind you looking without buying. And, on a different scale, you can see the Coalbrookdale Gates at the entrance to South Carriage Drive from West Carriage Drive. Created for the Great Exhibition they were moved here when the Albert Memorial was constructed.

2023: Building London drew our attention to another item (a 30-foot Ionic column) exhibited at the Great Exhibition that is now on display elsewhere, in this case in Stroud.  

This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
Great Exhibition

Commemorated ati

Buck Hill bastion

This is really an information board rather than a plaque and has a number of ...

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Cromwell Buildings

The Prince Regent (later King George IV) had died more than twenty years befo...

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Great Exhibition and Prince Albert

Designed by Joseph Durham with modifications by Sydney Smirke. Inaugurated by...

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Great Exhibition - Coalbrookdale Gates

From Royal Parks: "The gates were designed by Charles Crookes. Each of the ca...

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Great Exhibition - Hyde Park - entrance

Building designed by: Joseph Paxton First large scale prefabricated glass and...

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Show all 13

Other Subjects

W. H. Smiths

W. H. Smiths

Henry Walton Smith and his wife Anna opened a small newsvendors in 1792 in Little Grosvenor Street. HW and then Anna died, and their sons took over, renaming the business after one of them, William...

Group, Commerce

6 memorials
Windsor Castle pub

Windsor Castle pub

Restored in 1990. Described by Time Out as "this absurd pub, apparently popular with every minor celebrity you can think of". August 2016: Londonist informs that the pub is about to close and has ...

Building, Commerce, Food & Drink

1 memorial
Morris Singer Foundry

Morris Singer Foundry

Founded by John Webb Singer as the Frome Art Metal Works. Cast many of the best known sculptures in London, including the statue of Justice on the Central Criminal Court, 1906. Merged with the Morr...

Place, Commerce, Craft / Design

22 memorials
Mont Blanc restaurant

Mont Blanc restaurant

Opened sometime early in the 20th century by Alphonse Pasquier. Edward Garnett (1868-1937), an English writer and critic, fostered the careers of many literary figures by hosting weekly Tuesday lit...

Place, Commerce, Food & Drink

1 memorial
Sir Horace B. Marshall (Junior)

Sir Horace B. Marshall (Junior)

Publisher and newspaper distributor and Lord Mayor of London, 1918–1919.  Born Streatham, son of Sir Horace Brooks Marshall, whose business he joined.  His daughter married J. Arthur Rank.   Searc...

Person, Commerce, Journalism / Publishing, Lord Mayor

2 memorials