Westminster Hall

Westminster Hall

Westminster Hall

General view of Westminster Hall interior

General view of interior

January 20th  On this day in 1265, Simon de Montfort convened England’s first Parliament at Westminster Hall (see also “The Mother of Parliaments” blog, posted on October 3rd).  Before 1265, Parliament, or its precursor, had met in the Chapter House of Westminster Abbey (see also “Robbing Peter to pay Paul” blog, posted on December 17th).  After 1548, it met in the then-secularised Royal Chapel of St Stephen in the Palace of Westminster.

Double Hammerbeam ceiling

Double Hammerbeam Ceiling

Westminster Hall was originally built as a royal residence cum banqueting house by William II, Rufus,  in 1097-99; and rebuilt, with a spectacular hammerbeam roof, by Henry Yevele, for Richard II, in 1394-1401.  It once formed part of the Old Palace of Westminster, work on which is believed to have begun, under Cnut, as long ago as 1016.  Together  with the adjacent Jewel Tower, it is essentially the only part of the old palace to have survived the terrible fires of 1512 and 1834 (the present, new palace was built, in the Victorian Gothic style, between 1837-58).

White Hart carving - symbol of Richard II

Close-up of carvings on the interior wall, including a White Hart (symbol of Richard II)

Carving on the ceiling

Close up of a carving on the ceiling

Entrance to undercroft

Entrance to undercroft

Another White Hart

Another White Hart (above the entrance to the Undercroft)

Westminster Hall is visited, although not entered, on our “St Paul’s to Westminster Abbey – Priories, Palaces and Parliament” standard walk, and on both our “Medieval London” and “Legal London” themed specials.

Further details of all our walks are available in the “Our Guided Walks” section of this web-site.  Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section, by e-mail (lostcityoflondon@sky.com), or by phone (020-8998-3051).

No entry to undercroft

No entrance to undercroft – by Order of Black Rod

Westminster Hall

Westminster Hall

2 thoughts on “Westminster Hall

  1. Pingback: Whitehall Palace (1529) | The Lost City of London

  2. Pingback: The death of Henry VIII – and Whitehall Palace | The Lost City of London

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s