Girlguiding Centenary Maze

Guides at Crystal PalaceThe historic maze at Crystal Palace Park was completely redesigned and renovated to mark the launch of Girlguiding’s Centenary celebrations.

Crystal Palace Park has special significance to Girlguiding as, on 4 September 1909, it was the location of the first Scout Rally which a small group of girls dared to attend. They approached Sir Robert Baden-Powell, requesting that he set up ‘something for the girls’. Following the request from the girls at Crystal Palace Park, Lord Baden-Powell went ahead and founded the movement of the ‘Girl Guides’ with 6,000 girls registering in 1910.

Brownies running in Crystal Palace MazeNew artworks were introduced to the maze, transforming it into a fun experience for all ages: an educational 'treasure hunt' to be enjoyed by young and old. Ten granite monoliths were placed within the maze to be discovered, each one bearing an emblem drawn from the world of nature and of significance to the guiding movement, from Snowdrops and Daffodils to Polar bears and Dolphins. At the centre of the maze, a map depicting its layout is set on the ground within a paved circle and raised roundels reveal the positions of the ten monoliths. 

Visiting the maze

The maze is a year-round visitor attraction open during opening hours of the park. Crystal Palace Park is very accessible from London and can easily be combined with a trip to ICANDO, Pax Lodge and other London sites. It is well served by transport links, including the new overground line linking east and south London.

There is also ample coach and car parking and the nearest coach park is accessed by the National Sports Centre entrance off Anerley Hill.

What to do at the maze

The maze offers many opportunities for games and activities including producing rubbings of the roundels set in the centre of the maze.

The maze is open to the public and you may find you share the maze with a school group on a nature trip or local community enjoying this great new space.

Find out more about how to visit the Maze and what you can do there.

Guides volunteering at mazeHistory of the project

At the beginning of the project, the Maze was dark, overgrown, dangerous and not a pleasant place to play. A partnership between Girlguiding, the London Borough of Bromley Council and the London Development Agency was formed in order to develop the project.

Girlguiding also commissioned brook and black, two female artists, to produce an interactive piece of work that would fit into the maze and be open to not just Girlguiding members, but to members worldwide and the local community.

Girls volunteering at the mazeWork began to take place during the winter months of 2008 to start to bring the maze up to standard and contractors were appointed and work began on-site towards the end of April 2009. The new Maze is true to the layout of the original design. With the active involvement of the London Borough of Bromley there was an astounding transformation of the planting in the maze area.

The maze was officially opened by Chief Guide Liz Burnley along with 40 Brownies and Guides on 5 September 2009 as part of the Girlguiding Centenary launch celebration. Bromley Head of Parks and Open Spaces Patrick Phillips, representatives from the LDA, project manager Jo Gibbons, and artists Leo Brook and Tiffany Black all attended the opening as well.

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