Alexandra Palace opened on Queen Victoria's 54th birthday with a grand celebration including concerts, recitals and fireworks. Tragedy struck 16 days later when a fire broke out in the Palace.
The new Alexandra Palace opened to the public with its new Henry Willis organ: one of the largest in Europe at the time.
The new Alexandra Palace illustration.
Dr. Holden performs ‘Conjuring Experiments, consisting of Occidental and Oriental Magic, acquired by him during his recent travels around the world.’
The lake is illuminated, with the Alexandra Palace Choir perform as Singing Gondolas. The event was so popular it caused overcrowding and additional performances had to be added.
Cecil Shadbolt takes the first aerial photograph in the UK over Alexandra Palace, but neglects to photograph the Palace itself!
The largest Panorama Picture in London, previously exhibited at the Champs Elysees, Paris.
Dr Barton and his airship built in the grounds of Alexandra Park.
Queen Mary at Alexandra Palace inspecting the arrangements.
Miss Alice Webb performs in her crystal water tank, eating, drinking, sewing, peeling an apple, smoking and writing.
Parade on the Race Course showing the Victorian Grandstand at Alexandra Palace.
A Victorian rollercoaster is installed in the Park.
Samuel Franklin Cody brought his Wild West Show to Alexandra Palace. Not to be confused with ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody, Sam was an aerial innovator and brought his kite exhibition to Alexandra Palace in 1903.
In celebration of the Coronation of Edward VII, colonial troops from around the world are gathered at Alexandra Palace.
1905 saw a Nelson Ball held at the Palace and a full-sized replica of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square was brought into the Great Hall.
Former Alexandra Palace waitress, Miss Dolly Shepherd and Captain Gaudron parachute from 4,500 ft over Alexandra Palace. Before embarking Dolly kisses a young lady in the audience.
Music Hall star Percy Honri performs with his troupe in a new theatrical pavilion in the Park.
Winston Churchill spoke in the Great Hall in 1913 but attendees complained that “only those in front and the specially favoured ones on the platform” could hear well.
Alexandra Palace was requisitioned by the Government to be used first as a Belgian refugee camp and later as a German and Austrian internment camp for the duration of WWI.
Following the outbreak of war the Palace grounds were closed without warning. Signs at each entrance read: ‘Until further notice, the Palace Grounds are closed to the public who are warned that any unauthorised person found in the grounds is liable to be shot—By Order’.
During the War, the Theatre is converted into a chapel where the Catholic Belgians could take mass. In July, the AP Executive Committee agree to a request for soldiers and their horses to be billeted at the Palace in the event of mobilisation.
Belongings of Refugees around Willis Organ.
The former Bijou Theatre at Alexandra Palace was used as a hospital for Belgian and Dutch refugees during the first year of the First World War.
Beds laid out for refugees in the early stages of the war.
In May of 1915 the Palace becomes an internment camp, with barbed wire fencing and sentries.
The Palace reopens following extended refurbishment after damage during the First World War. In the Theatre a new bar is installed under the circle and management is taken over by W. J. MacQueen-Pope.
73,000 Scouts rally at Alexandra Palace, with Chief Scout and founder, Robert Baden-Powell.
In 1925, the Kennel Club held a dog show at the Palace with such an array of rare and speciality breeds that the dogs were said to be worth an estimated £25,000.
Ben Greet Players perform a series of Shakespeare plays in the Theatre and a statue is installed in the East Court.
Gracie Fields produces ‘The Show’s the Thing’ at the Alexandra Palace Theatre. It transfers to a successful West End run and tour.
On 2 November the world's first regular high-definition public television broadcast took place from the BBC studios at Alexandra Palace.
Having been damaged in the First World War the Grand Willis Organ is finally restored and re-pitched a semitone lower. Sir Henry Wood conducts a Handel festival, whilst Mr. G.D. Cunningham plays the organ.
Belgian refugees returned to Alexandra Palace during WWII.
The television transmitter was used to jam the Luftwaffe navigation systems. A bomb exploded to the north of the Palace, damaging the organ.
The Great Hall is filled with prefabricated houses to show councils what rehousing would be available in the aftermath of war.
The first dedicated children’s television programme makes a star out of Muffin the Mule.
Telerecording allows television to be directly recorded for the first time. The Remembrance Ceremony at the Cenotaph is the first broadcast recorded. Adelaide Hall is the first performer to be recorded.
Passenger trains cease to serve Alexandra Palace directly.
The studios at Alexandra Palace become the dedicated home for television news.
The BBC begins testing colour television out of hours.
A young Sean Connery plays with the Showbiz XI at an ‘All Stars’ Football Match at the Alexandra Park F.C. Ground.
Festival of jazz in 1962.
Due to a power cut affecting BBC Television Centre in Shepherd’s Bush, BBC Two is launched from Alexandra Palace.
The Fine Art department of the prestigious and influential Hornsey College of Art moves into Alexandra Palace.
The seminal psychedelic happening of the Summer of Love brings John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and the leading lights of the Underground together for an all night event headlined by Pink Floyd.
The Who stop off at Alexandra Palace on their iconic Tommy tour.
In the ongoing history of destructive fires the Tudor Ballroom, or Blandford Hall, burns down. It is followed by the stables and cricket pavilion.
Documents recently unearthed from the AP archives have revealed the origins of Leo the Lion. This popular bronze sculpture by the boating lake is been climbed on by thousands of children over the last forty years. In early 1973, Sir Charles Wheeler was commission to produce a lion sculpture for Alexandra Park for siting at the children’s zoo. Sir Charles worked on many public buildings, the Bank of England and a fountain in Trafalgar Square.
Ozzy Osbourne on stage at Alexandra Palace.
Grateful Dead performing at Alexandra Palace.
Jazz legends perform at the weekend festival, including Herbie Hancock, Dave Brubeck, B.B. King, Muddy Waters and Dizzy Gillespie.
Queen play live at Alexandra Palace during the band’s ‘Crazy Tour of London’.
The final concert of Rock Against Racism is held at Alexandra Palace. RAR brought together pop, rock, punk and reggae musicians on a mixed bill which campaigned against a rise in racism and racial conflict.
For the second time, fire broke out across Alexandra Palace burning a large part of the building to the ground. Substantial restoration works began shortly after the fire and the Palace finally re-opened in 1988.
Punk takes over Alexandra Palace with performances by The Slits, The Raincoats, The Pop Group and poet John Cooper Clarke.
While the Palace was being rebuilt, a temporary structure was built so we could continue to host events - including a performance from The Jam.
Promoter Frank Warren presents three fights at the Alexandra Pavilion, including Terry Marsh, who would later be accused but acquitted of shooting Warren.
Celebrating 5,000 years of Indian heritage, across 25 acres of Alexandra Park, through music, dance, arts and crafts and the ‘Cradle of Civilisation’; featuring 60 tableaux constructed using traditional materials and fabrics.
Barry Manilow becomes one of the first acts in the newly restored and reopened Alexandra Palace.
The Stone Roses play their first London gig at the height of Madchester.
The Stranglers perform their last gig with Hugh Cornwell at Alexandra Palace.
Morrissey plays Alexandra Palace for the first time.
The Brit Awards begin a three-year residency at Alexandra Palace. Performances include Madonna, Take That, Pet Shop Boys, duets from Sting with M People, Bjork with PJ Harvey, and Elton John with Ru Paul!
Blur bring the sound of BritPop to Alexandra Palace, playing their seminal album Parklife, and supported by Pulp.
The Afro Hair and Beauty Show arrives at Alexandra Palace, and for the next 15 years presents the latest styles, trends and glamour.
Hosted by Robbie Williams, performers include George Michael, The Fugees, The Smashing Pumpkins and a notoriously foul mouthed performance by Metallica.
The Spice Girls join Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard to launch the new look, silver McLaren. Jamiroquai play the launch party for 5,000 guests.
Huge show on New Years Eve from The Chemical Brothers, New Order and Underworld.
Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes and Trevor Nelson host the MOBO Awards, with Craig David as the big winner of the night, and performances from The Fugees, Gabrielle and Sade.
Universal Sounds presents all night UK Garage, Drum & Bass, and R’n’B. Acts include So Solid Crew, Pay As You Go Cartel, Heartless Crew, laying the base for what would become Grime.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip meeting with Rosemary Warne (Deputy lieutenant) 6th June 2002.
The Noughties explosion of indie music brings Kings of Leon to Palace, followed by The White Stripes in 2004, Kasabian and Franz Ferdinand in 2005 and the Arctic Monkeys in 2007.
Parts of Jay Z’s “Young Forever” were filmed during this concert.
The Park is filled with Bedouin as Secret Cinema bring Lawrence of Arabia to transform Alexandra Palace.
The environment around Alexandra Palace is special for its biodiversity. In 2010, the Natural History Museum conducted a ‘bio-blitz’ and in the space of 24 hours, over 700 species in the park were recorded.
Swedish House Mafia played Alexandra Palace, followed by Skrillex and Chase & Status in 2011, and David Guetta in 2012.
Portishead curate for All Tomorrow’s Parties the I’ll Be Your Mirror Festival, headlined by PJ Harvey and Grinderman.
Björk performed the first-ever concert “in the round” at the venue.
alt-j & The Libertines both perform at Alexandra Palace in 2014.
Prodigy & Disclosure both rock the venue in 2015.
Alexandra Palace hosts the UK’s first Afropunk event, headlined by Grace Jones.
Hot off winning the Mercury Music Prize, Skepta comes back to his North London base.
Coined ‘The Sport of the Future’, Alexandra Palace hosts the UK’s first professional drone race, the finale of the Allianz World Championship.
The first ever Spotify live event in the UK, bringing the power house of streaming and major urban, grime and hip hop UK artists.
We produced our first ever music and arts festival - taking place across the Palace and basements.
The BBC Concert Orchestra performed in the Theatre ahead of the completion of the East Wing Restoration Project.
The long lost Theatre reopens for performance, for the first time in over 80 years.
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Alexandra Palace is run by a charity for the benefit of everyone. We’re working harder than ever to keep you entertained, care for the award-winning park and run our creative learning programmes. But to ensure we’re here to do this now and long into the future, we need your help. Click below to find out how you can support us.