Alexandra Palace Guinea Season Ticket

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This map, dating from 1875, appears on the back of a “Guinea season ticket” for entry to Alexandra Palace, in north London. The palace was recently restored and public entrance is now available to some areas for free.

It’s a nice, vintage map, and the use of colour is interesting and attractive, with key parks coloured in and named, and the River Thames drawn with blue lines along the direction of flow. The map is finished with a gold decorative border. It does suffer a little from overlapping of names and lines in places (e.g. around Bank). It shows not only line names (and colours) but also major road names. Angel is referred to by the “Angel Inn” (the tube station hadn’t yet been built – this is pre deep-tube) and interestingly the main line King’s Cross station was called Great Northern station – but the tube station nearby is called King’s Cross.

At the front is a grand drawing of Alexandra Palace itself, mc=uch as it looks today, but with the addition of a hot air balloonist above. It states the view is from “Muswell Hill” which is curious. At first glance, looking at Alexandra Palace from the opposite direction appears to line up, while the “back” of the current palace, which faces Muswell Hill, is without the promenade or much of the park, and spoilt by a car park. However, perhaps 140+ years ago it was indeed more symmetrical.

However, the current range of rail options to the palace are much reduced – the Finsbury Park – Highgate – Alexandra Palace Station line is closed (and is now the Parkland Walk) while the Stamford Hill to Wood Green link never got built (although it might appear as part of Crossrail 2 in another twenty or so years). The Yellow line is the North London Line but this offers no direct trains to Finsbury Park any more.

From the Alexandra Palace collection on the Google Arts & Culture project.

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