The Houses of Parliament


The Houses of Parliament are situated on the north bank of the River Thames.

Work began on creating this magnificent building in 1840 and was completed 48 years later. Built on the site of a Royal Palace, which was destroyed by fire on October 16 1834. Original remains to survive the blaze are Westminster Hall and the Jewel Tower. The building comprises of many other parts, which include the House of Commons, House of Lords and Victoria Tower. Stored within the Victoria Tower are records of every act of Parliament that has been passed, since 1497. A flag is flown from this tower when parliament is in session.

Externally, the most famous feature of the building is St Stephen's Tower, more commonly known as Big Ben. It is in fact the bell hanging within the tower, named after Sir Benjamin Hall, that has given the most famous clock in the world its nickname.

The immense size of the building covers an area of 8 acres which includes over 1000 rooms and 100 staircases. Certain areas are open to the public, including the House of Commons. It is possible to spectate from Strangers Gallery where you can watch Members of Parliament discussing new legislation, but expect to queue!

 

Nearest Tube Station - Westminster