On This Day

Palace of Westminster

The Palace of Westminster, London
The Palace of Westminster, London

Historical Context

Owned by the British crown, the current palace of Westminster replaced an earlier Medieval palace which burned down in 1834. The exterior was designed by the architect Charles Barry and the interior by Augustus Pugin in the Gothic Revival style. Construction began in 1840 and wasn't finished until 1870.

The palace holds both the elected UK House of Commons and the appointed or heredity House of Lords and includes such well known monuments as the clock tower Big Ben and the larger Victoria Tower. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

Monument Info

Location: London, England, United Kingdom

Related Events

  • 1840-04-27 Foundation stone for new Palace of Westminster, London, laid by Sarah Barry wife of its architect Charles Barry
  • 1856-11-13 The Great Bell of Big Ben first chimes at the foot of the still unfinished clock tower outside the Palace of Westminster
  • 1868-12-09 The first traffic lights are installed outside the Palace of Westminster in London. Resembling railway signals, they use semaphore arms and are illuminated at night by red and green gas lamps.
  • 1979-03-30 Airey Neave, a British politician, is killed by a car bomb as he exits the Palace of Westminster. The Irish National Liberation Army claims responsibility.

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