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

Joseph Hardcastle

Joseph Hardcastle

Merchant and evangelical activist.  Born Leeds.  Came to London in 1766.  Good friend of Wilberforce and the Clapham Sect.  Co-founder of the London Missionary Society in 1795 and its treasurer for...

Person, Commerce, Religion

1 memorial
British Telecom

British Telecom

A number of privately owned telegraph companies operated in Britain from 1846 onwards. In 1868 these all came under the control of the newly formed GPO (General Post Office). With the invention of ...

Group, Commerce

2 memorials
Barnet Emanuel Ltd

Barnet Emanuel Ltd

Trader at Covent Garden Market at its original site.

Group, Commerce

1 memorial
De La Rue

De La Rue

Security printing, papermaking and cash handling systems company. Founded by Thomas de la Rue, a Guernsey printer. In recent years, the company has been involved in the design or production of over...

Group, Commerce

1 memorial