This image is of a remnant of the base of the southern water tower, one of two that used to dominate the Crystal Palace skyline. The towers were commissioned to stand either side of the Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace after it had relocated from Hyde Park to Sydenham Hill (moved and rebuilt between 1852 – 1854). Designed by the great Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, they were used to pump water down at high pressure to power huge jets of water in fountains landscaped in front of the reconstructed exhibition hall. They also had observation platforms for paying visitors and later used to conduct early radio transmissions.

The two towers survived the tragic 1936 fire that destroyed the exhibition hall. However during World War II it was decided to pull them down as they might act of landmarks for enemy aircraft. The northern tower was blown up but due to the proximity of nearby housing the southern tower was taken down manually. A lot of the materials were recycled for the war effort.

The remains of the south tower is normally closed to the public but visitors were allowed during this year’s Open House weekend, thanks to the efforts of volunteers from the Crystal Palace Museum.


Surviving base of the Victorian southern water tower at Crystal Palace. The tower, originally 284ft tall and designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, was taken down during the Second World War.

Every day we publish an image that captures an aspect of London. It could be a topical event in the capital, images of the changes within or just something that captures London as the unique city that it is. All images are recent, having been taken no more than three weeks before publication date. Images are taken by Kevin J. Frost, a London-based photographer. All images from our Image of the Day collection for 2019 can be purchased from this link.


  1. Broadway Westminster development.
  2. London Wall.
  3. Scapel and Lloyds skyline.
  4. 22 Bishopsgate.
  5. Corbyn critic.
  6. College Green.
  7. City of London skyline.
  8. Chagos campaigner.
  9. Broken Parliament.
  10. OXO Tower.
  11. Tower Bridge cityscape.
  12. 9/11 Memorial.
  13. Brexit campaign.
  14. Can of Ham building.
  15. City of London Dragon marker.
  16. Notting Hill Tree Campaign.
  17. Supreme Court prorogation hearing.
  18. Seagull Autumn morning.
  19. Saint James Church, Piccadilly.
  20. Youth Strike 4 Climate.
  21. National Gallery cupola.
  22. Car-Free Day.
  23. Remains Crystal Palace Water Tower.
  24. Old Father Thames.
  25. Memorial to Joseph Bazalgette.
  26. Saint Clement Danes.
  27. Clock of Saint Dunstan-in-the-West.
  28. Southbank changes.
  29. Landseer lion.
  30. Carmelite House.


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