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THE PEOPLES PALACE AND AQUARIUM

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  GALA LAND, GALALAND, SCARBOROUGH AQUARIUM
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A public aquarium which was located beneath the Valley Bridge, designed and built in 1877 by Eugenius Birch who also designed Brighton Aquarium (Monument HOB UID 1457680). The building measured 500 feet by 250 feet, covered an area of 2.25 acres, and included a concert hall, reading room, dining room and fernery. The interior was decorated in an Indo-Moorish style based on Hindu temples, especially Binderabund, which Birch had used as a model for the Blackpool North Pier Indian Pavilion which he designed in 1874. The aquarium contained the largest tank in the world which was situated in the "cave of Elephanta". It contained over 75,000 gallons of water, was 36 feet square and was sometimes used for swimming exhibitions. The aquarium was also reported as containing terracotta work installed by James Pulham II (1820-1898) possibly with James Pulham III (1845-1920), of James Pulham and Son. The work is documented in the catalogue "Picturesque Ferneries and Rock-Garden Scenery, in Waterfalls, Rockystreams, Cascades, Dropping Wells, Heatheries, Caves or Cavernous Recesses for Boathouses which was published by James Pulham in 1877.

The aquarium was not a success and in 1886 it was sold to William Morgan, the manager of Blackpool Winter Gardens, who turned it into a successful business venture. In 1890 extensive alterations and additions had been made which included additions of a monkey house, aviary, seal and alligator ponds. Later additions included a swimming pool in 1893, a theatre in 1907 and a skating rink in 1909. Success was short lived and by 1914 the Aquarium was in the hands of liquidators. Scarborough Council ran the buildings as Galaland between 1925 and 1966. In 1968 the buildings were demolished and the site is now used as a car park.

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