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Alexandra Palace timeline


Ahead of the Family Tree Live family history show in April 2019, we take a look at key moments in the history of Alexandra Palace, the show's historic venue.

Family Tree Live is at Alexandra Palace on 26 and 27 April 2019, with everything you need for your family history, under one roof. There will be a range of attractions including a DNA hub, workshops, lectures, family history society stands and much more.

Alexandra Palace is a beautiful venue with a long history, as we demonstrate in this timeline.

24 May 1873

Alexandra Palace opened on Queen Victoria's 54th birthday with a grand celebration including concerts, recitals and fireworks. Tragedy struck sixteen 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

July 1896

Parade on the Race Course showing the Victorian Grandstand at Alexandra Palace


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 World War One

2 November 1936

The world's first regular high-definition public television broadcast took place from the BBC studios at Alexandra Palace


Belgian refugees returned to Alexandra Palace during World War Two and the Palace's transmitter tower was used as a decoy for enemy aircraft


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


Alexandra Palace was recognised as a building of special architectural or historic interest and received a Grade II listing

For more on Alexandra Palace, visit their website.

For updates on Family Tree Live, sign up for our e-newsletter.

(timeline information and images courtesy of Alexandra Palace)

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