History[ edit ] A late tradition claims that Aldrich, a young fisherman on the River Thameshad a vision of Saint Peter near the site. The recorded origins of the Abbey date to the s or early s, when Saint Dunstan and King Edgar installed a community of Benedictine monks on the site.
Westminster Abbey is in the background. Parliament before the fire  with Old Palace Yard in the foreground. Soane's ceremonial entrance is on the far-right. The Palace of Westminster site was strategically important during the Middle Agesas it was located on the banks of the River Thames.
Known in medieval times as Thorney Islandthe site may have been first-used for a royal residence by Canute the Great during his reign from to St Edward the Confessorthe penultimate Anglo-Saxon monarch of England, built a royal palace on Thorney Island just west of the City of London at about the same time as he built Westminster Abbey — Thorney Island and the surrounding area soon became known as Westminster a contraction of the words West Minster.
The Palace of Westminster was the monarch's principal residence in the late Medieval period. Simon de Montfort's parliamentthe first to include representatives of the major towns, met at the Palace in The " Model Parliament ", the first official Parliament of England, met there in and almost all subsequent English Parliaments and then, afterall British Parliaments have met at the Palace.
Renaming it the Palace of Whitehall, Henry used it as his principal residence. Although Westminster officially remained a royal palace, it was used by the two Houses of Parliament and by the various royal law courts. A detail from John Rocque's map of London. The Court of Requests, between the two Houses, would become the new home of the Lords in At the north-east, by the river, stood Speaker's House.
Because it was originally a royal residence, the Palace included no purpose-built chambers for the two Houses. Important state ceremonies were held in the Painted Chamber which had been originally built in the 13th century as the main bedchamber for King Henry III. The House of Lords originally met in the Queen's Chamber, a modest Medieval hall towards the southern end of the complex, with the adjoining Prince's Chamber used as the robing room for peers and for the monarch during state openings.
In the Upper House moved into the larger White Chamber also known as the Lesser Hallwhich had housed the Court of Requests ; the expansion of the Peerage by King George III during the 18th century, along with the imminent Act of Union with Irelandnecessitated the move, as the original chamber could not accommodate the increased number of peers.
The House of Commons, which did not have a chamber of its own, sometimes held its debates in the Chapter House of Westminster Abbey. In the building became available for the Commons' use following the disbanding of St Stephen's College.
Alterations were made to St Stephen's Chapel over the following three centuries for the convenience of the lower House, gradually destroying, or covering up, its original mediaeval appearance.
A major renovation project undertaken by Christopher Wren in the late 17th century completely redesigned the building's interior.
The Palace of Westminster as a whole began to see significant alterations from the 18th century onwards, as Parliament struggled to carry out its business in the limited available space and ageing buildings. Calls for an entirely new palace went unheeded as instead more buildings of varying quality and style were added.
A new official residence for the Speaker of the House of Commons was built adjoining St Stephen's Chapel and completed in The neo-Gothic architect James Wyatt also carried out works on both the House of Lords and Commons between andincluding alterations to the exterior of St Stephen's Chapel and a much-derided new neo-Gothic building, referred to by Wyatt's critics as "The Cotton Mill" adjoining the House of Lords and facing onto Old Palace Yard.
The palace complex was substantially remodelled, this time by Sir John Soanebetween and The medieval House of Lords chamber, which had been the target of the failed Gunpowder Plot ofwas demolished as part of this work in order to create a new Royal Gallery and ceremonial entrance at the southern end of the palace.
Soane's work at the palace also included new library facilities for both Houses of Parliament and new law courts for the Chancery and King's Bench. Soane's alterations caused controversy owing to his use of neo-classical architectural styles, which conflicted with the Gothic style of the original buildings.
Fire and reconstruction[ edit ] J.
Turner watched the fire of and painted several canvases depicting it, including The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons On 16 Octobera fire broke out in the Palace after an overheated stove used to destroy the Exchequer 's stockpile of tally sticks set fire to the House of Lords Chamber.
In the resulting conflagration both Houses of Parliament were destroyed, along with most of the other buildings in the palace complex. Westminster Hall was saved thanks to fire-fighting efforts and a change in the direction of the wind. The building was considered unsuitable for parliamentary use, however, and the gift was rejected.
Works proceeded quickly and the chambers were ready for use by February The neo-Classical approach, similar to that of the White House and the Federal Capitol in the United States, was popular at the time and had already been used by Soane in his additions to the old palace, but had connotations of revolution and republicanismwhereas Gothic design embodied conservative values.
For new statues at the west front see Hawksmoor's entry on the website and individual entries for the ten modern Martyrs and Science. The lower tier are those connected with Abbey history, royal benefactors, Abbots and Deans. Above the side doors are Abbots Laurence, Langham, Esteney and Islip. regardbouddhiste.com, Westminster Abbey . Kolbe is one of ten martyrs memorialised above the Abbey's Great West Door. He offered his own life to save a fellow prisoner in Auschwitz-Birkenau. The ten representative statues are intended to represent all those who have died in circumstances of oppression and persecution and are drawn from every continent and many Christian. The name Westminster describes the area around Westminster Abbey and Palace of Westminster, – the West Minster, or monastery church, west of the City of London's St Paul's, that gave the area its name–which has been the seat of the government of England for almost a thousand years.
The committee in the House of Lords announced in June that "the style of the buildings should be either Gothic or Elizabethan ". Sir Charles Barry conceived the winning design for the New Houses of Parliament and supervised its construction until his death in Buckler and William Railton.
Augustus Pugin was instrumental in helping Barry win the Commission. Pugin's contribution can be seen in the Gothic detail, the vanes and spires. Pugin also contributed greatly to the distinctive Gothic interiors, including wallpapers, carvings, stained glass, floor tiles, metalwork and furniture.Ten 20th century Christian martyrs have been commemorated with statues at Westminster Abbey in London.
The statues were unveiled before the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey. BBC News' Emily Buchanan on the new statues taking their place at Westminster. The name Westminster describes the area around Westminster Abbey and Palace of Westminster, – the West Minster, or monastery church, west of the City of London's St Paul's, that gave the area its name–which has been the seat of the government of England for almost a thousand years.
Oscar Romero 24th March (killed ) Among those commemorated in new statues on the west front of Westminster Abbey "I am bound, as a pastor, by divine command to give my life for those whom I love, and that is all Salvadoreans, even those who are going to kill me.".
The Statute of Westminster is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and ) to the act applying in Canada under the Statute of Westminster, while Australia, New Zealand, and the Union of the anniversary of the date of the passage of the original British statute is commemorated as Statute of Westminster Day.
Four massive buttresses secure the front; those at the angles terminate in octagons, and are connected with the upper part of the walls, over the side-aisles, by strong arches. WEST FRONT OF WESTMINSTER ABBEY, FROM TOTHILL STREET. During the exploration necessitated by laying the new flooring in front of the altar, there were .
St Stephen's Tower is positioned in the middle of the west front of the Palace, between Westminster Hall and Old Palace Yard, and houses the public entrance to the Houses of Parliament, known as St Stephen's Entrance.