Our campaign began in the autumn of 2010 when two local residents, Karl H Richter and Rolf Peruzzo, began discussions with Bromley Council and other local stakeholders to explore how to reopen the subway.
Over the years the subway has managed to inspire people and capture their imagination so it wasn’t hard to find an enthusiastic group to help with this project. A small steering group of volunteers and sponsors was formed to support and promote the project and this has now been formally constituted as the Friends of Crystal Palace Subway
We are working with Bromley Council, who are the land owners, and Southwark Council to reinstate access to the subway. It is possible to access the subway from the Southwark side by means of an existing stairway and the council has granted the Friends planning permission to install a new gate in the wall on the west side of Crystal Palace Parade above this stairway and to make it safe with a handrail and other safety features.
For the moment, part of the subway may remain closed due to safety concerns about the structural integrity of some of the retaining walls. But both Bromley Council and English Heritage are keen to see this part also reopened in future and we are working with them to investigate funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund or other sources.
People are already suggesting ways in which this beautiful space can be used in the future and once access to the subway has been reinstated we hope as many of these ideas as possible can be accommodated. In the meantime we hope to be able to hold organised Open Days and other events.
Everything we are doing s being coordinated with the broader plans for regenerating the Crystal Palace Park. Our initiative aligns with the masterplan for the park as well as Bromley’s plans for how the park could be managed and funded in future.
Inspired by the Subway
We are working with volunteers on a project to research the history of the subway. They have been trained in oral history methodology and are conducting interviews with people who remember the subway as it was in the past.
The volunteers are working with a professional researcher to visit archives and museums while developing their own research into the history of this unique structure.
You can find out more about the project and how to add your stories here. We would particularly like to hear from you if you remember using the subway in any way, or if you have photos or any other items relating to the subway that you would be willing to share with us.