Sir Joseph Paxton  1803 - 1865

Timeline 1803                      Timeline 1865

Joseph Paxton is perhaps best known for his design for the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, Emperor fountainwhere the Great Exhibition of 1851 was held, but he was also head gardener at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, home of the Dukes of Devonshire, and was behind some of the impressive designs that grace the grounds there. The enormously tall Emperor Fountain was one of his innovations as well as the rock garden.Rock garden

In designing a rock garden he wanted to ensure that his structures echoed the most attractive natural formations and that the rocks he used were sufficiently massive to create a dramatic effect. He invented a special hoist with which to lift the rocks into place.  Among his achievements as a gardener was cultivating the Cavendish Banana, a species which is now widely grown commercially.

Paxton's design for the Crystal Palace used standard components repeatedly so that it was quick and easy to erect. The plan was essential because he was called on to design the structure after the winner of a contest to find the design proved to be unworkable in reality.  Construction took around six months.
Born in Milton Bryan, Bedfordshire
Head Gardener at Chatsworth
Builds Great Conservatory at Chatsworth
Builds Emperor Fountain at Chatsworth
Designs Coventry Cemetery
Designs Crystal Palace
Knighted for work on the Great Exhibition
Becomes MP for Coventry
Proposer of Thames Embankment Act
Dies at Sydenham, Kent