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DAYS OUT WITH THE FAMILY

DAYS OUT WITH THE FAMILY

Houses Of Parliament

Houses Of Parliament

Houses Of Parliament

A Visit To The Houses Of Parliament The Palace of Westminster is situated on the River Thames by Westminster Bridge and is an essential sightseeing experience for anybody living in, or visiting, London. It has been the home of British democracy since the Civil War that resulted in the trial and execution of King Charles I in 1649, following Oliver Cromwell’s overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of a democratically elected, albeit of restricted franchise, chamber to determine the laws of the land. Originally built by William II between 1097 and 1099, the building’s original role as a Royal residence ended in 1512, when a fire gutted the private chambers of the king. Henry VIII moved out and it became a centre for law and governance. Many high profile treason trials took place in the Palace of Westminster, including the trial of Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot. All were executed in 1606. Charles I, whilst still king was tried and condemned there as “a tyrant, traitor and murderer”, although no court had any legal authority over him. Another fire in 1834 created the opportunity to rebuild the Palace of Westminster. Sir Charles Barry worked alongside Augustus Pugin to create today’s perpendicular gothic building www.theamericanhour.com

containing 1,100 rooms around two courtyards. It covers eight acres with a 266 river frontage and adjoins the famous Big Ben clock tower. Tours of the Palace of Westminster can either be taken in parties with guides or individually with audio tours. Headsets come for under twelves or adults, and provide excellent information on the history and architecture of the Palace. The audio tour gives you the opportunity to explore at your own pace. Each section of the tour is numbered and you move from location to location whilst listening to information relevant to each stage of the tour. At each stage, you have the option to listen to specific additional information of your choice, such as the attempt by Charles I to arrest four members of the then Parliament, which led to the convention that still holds good today that no monarch is allowed to enter the House of Commons where today’s elected Members of Parliament sit. The tour starts in Westminster Hall and progresses to St. Stephen’s Hall, the Peers Lobby (used by members of the House of Lords), the Norman Porch, Robing Room, Royal Gallery, Prince’s Chamber, the House of Lords (where the monarch gives the annual State Opening of Parliament outlining the government’s legislative programme at the start of the parliamentary year), the Central Lobby and the House of Commons. There is so much history to savour on the tour.

Houses Of Parliament

There are fabulous paintings depicting great events and personalities from British history. Certain statues, including Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and Clement Atlee are situated inside the Palace, whilst that of Oliver Cromwell is situated outside in Cromwell Green. There is no better place to explore and learn about Britain’s history than the Houses of Parliament. Do not rush the tour; take a long time and absorb all the information that is available to you. For further information visit: www.parliament.uk/visiting/ www.americaninbritain.co.uk

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American in Britain Autumn 2015  

The Autumn 2015 issue features theatre reviews of Bend It Like Beckham, McQueen and Three Days In The Country; restaurant reviews of Smith &...

American in Britain Autumn 2015  

The Autumn 2015 issue features theatre reviews of Bend It Like Beckham, McQueen and Three Days In The Country; restaurant reviews of Smith &...

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