Home / Conservation / Recent conservation of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs


Conservation is steady work. Things break. Things weather. Things get knocked about both by accident and by carelessness. Even when things are made to last, it can be hard work holding them together.

When the Friends raise conservation issues about the dinosaurs, we often see puzzled faces. “Didn’t they already do that?”

Yes, but…

But it’s like your teeth. Brush them daily. Floss. Visit the dentist. Teeth need regular care. The dinosaurs are the same. Plus, they’re made from softer materials than teeth. They also spend all day every day out in the British weather: some days freezing; other days baking. Some days soggy; other days, parched. It’s tough being a dinosaur.

This page provides a brief on major recent conservation work. The goal is to salute the hard work previously undertaken, and to show that regular care is essential.


Major conservation was last completed in 2003 by Morton Partnership in a £3.6 million restoration programme headed by the London Borough of Bromley with contributions from HLF and the UK SRB scheme. This involved repair and restoration. It also produced several recreations. Owing to prolonged neglect, conservation work for 2003 was exceptionally extensive. Credit goes to geologist Peter Doyle for his contributions. For instance, he was responsible for rediscovering forgotten elements and for facilitating several fiberglass replacements.

Vandalism can have a devastating effect on the displays. The restored pterodactyl group (above) were destroyed in 2005 when vandals kicked them over. The pieces were collected, but the statues have not been replaced.


Previous conservation took place in 1952. Keith Wyncoll has written a fine article about this work for Crystal Palace Matters (Summer 2013, number 69), published by the Crystal Palace Foundation.


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