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Westminster Hall

858 of 1157 nominations

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Westminster Hall

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Westminster Hall

Amid all the iconic buildings of Westminster, the medieval hall of that name, also known as the Great Hall, is the most venerable. Constructed in the 11th century, it celebrated 900 years of continuous use in 1999. While all the old parts of the Palace of Westminster have been lost to fire over the centuries, the Hall remains intact, a marvel of antique architecture. It was built for William Rufus, son of William I, primarily as a place for feasting and celebration, but the sheer grandeur of its scale meant that it saw service from the beginning for weightier matters of state too. The very first English parliament worthy of the name – the council convoked by Simon de Montfort in 1265 – met in Westminster Hall. The crowning glory of the Hall is its stunning hammerbeam roof, one of the largest unsupported roofs in all Europe, installed in the 14th century to a design by Hugh Herland. As well as judicial proceedings and coronations, the Hall has also been used for the lying-in-state of deceased notables, including Sir Winston Churchill and, most recently, the Queen Mother.

Photo: George Lewin

NOMINATION 858 OF 1157

Your comments

A magnificant building which has been at the heart of our political and constitutional life for 900 years.

John Worker


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I believe rice, peas and jerk chicken is an Icon of England.

Ade Adeluwoye

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