|The Ship of State|
The Old Palace was purportedly originally built for Cnut in around 1016, and subsequently rebuilt by Edward, “the Confessor” in 1042-65, and extended by succeeding kings, with Westminster Hall eventually becoming the seat of Parliament, to be succeeded, in 1548, by the then-secularised Royal Chapel of St. Stephen.
|Westminster Hall exterior|
|Westminster Hall interior|
Some of the palace complex was destroyed in a fire in 1512; and most of what remained, in another, in 1834, with essentially only Westminster Hall and the Jewel Tower surviving to this day, together with parts of the Royal Chapel of St. Stephen, including the St Mary Undercroft (see Caroline Shenton’s book, “The Day Parliament Burned Down”, published by Oxford University Press in 2012).
|Jewel Tower exterior|
|Jewel Tower interior|
Westminster Hall was originally built as a royal residence cum banqueting house by William II, Rufus, in 1097-9; and rebuilt, with a spectacular hammerbeam roof, by Henry Yevele, for Richard II, in 1394-1401. The Jewel Tower was originally built by Henry Yevele, for Edward III, in 1365-6.
The New Palace was built by Charles Barry and Augustus Welby Pugin, in the Victorian Gothic style, in 1837-58.
|Victoran Gothic extravagance|
|Victorian Gothic aspiration|
The Palace of Westminster is visited, although not entered, on our “St Paul’s to Westminster Abbey – Priories, Palaces and Parliament” walk.
Please note that this or indeed any of our other walks can be booked by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (020-8998-3051).
*For those wanting to see inside the Palace of Westminster - here is a link to the official website with details of how to book