Generally regarded as controversial subjects to avoid I hope you find this religion and politics interesting.
Dean's Yard, Westminster, is a large secluded gated quadrangle of picturesque buildings surrounding a green upon which Westminster School pupils have legal rights to play football (they have some claim to having invented the modern game).The East side consists of buildings occupied by Westminster School; the South by Church House, the headquarters of the Church of England; the West by several School buildings and Westminster Abbey Choir; and the North by the archway to the Great Sanctuary, Abbey offices and part of the Deanery.
It's an octagonal building with a vaulted ceiling and a central column, it has beautiful stained glass windows around most of it, lovely medieval wall paintings and an original floor of glazed tiles. Photography wasn't allowed, I only managed these two.
In the covered entrance to the Chapter House you can see what is claimed
to be the oldest door in Britain, believed to date back to the 1050's
The name Pyx refers to small boxes containing the official samples of gold and silver coinage which were also kept here. New coins were annually tested against these samples in a public 'Trial of the Pyx' held in the Palace of Westminster.
For much of the Middle Ages and afterwards the chamber served as a strong room containing the king's valuables, safeguarded by these huge thick double doors with 6 locks.
As it may have appeared in the 16th century
In 1869 the Jewel Tower was taken over by the newly formed Standard Weights and Measures Department which used it for storing and testing official weights and measures. The rising level of passing vehicular traffic made the tower increasingly unsuitable for this work, and by 1938 the department had abandoned it in favour of other facilities. In 1948 the building was placed into the care of the Ministry of Works which repaired and restored damage inflicted during the Second World War, the surrounding area was cleared and it was opened to tourists. It is now owned by English Heritage.
Westminster Palace (or Houses of Parliament) across the road, our next destination.Westminster Hall is the oldest part of the Palace complex, finished in 1099. Photography was allowed here but it was very dark and there was building work and scaffolding all around. The original timber roof is beautiful. Shuttlecocks from Henry VIII's time have been found in the rafters!
The entrance to St Stephen's Hall
is on the site of the old Chapel of St Stephen's which was destroyed along with most of the rest of the building in a fire in 1834. It was used by the House of Commons after the main chamber was bombed in the 2nd world war.
Beautiful chandeliers and ceiling
The hall is lined with paintings and statues of famous parlimentarians and kings and queens. Through the other side of St Stephen's Hall is the Central Lobby where political journalists film their live reports. It's also full of statues, and the beautiful gilded ceiling has to be seen to be believed.
Photography wasn't allowed from here but I couldn't have got such a good shot of the Central Lobby as this postcard. Mosaics decorate what is said to be the widest stone-vaulted roof in the world measuring 18m wide and 23m high.
From here you make your way to the House of Lords on one side and the House of Commons on the other, along corridors lined with more paintings and statues.
The House of Lords (as one would expect) is more elaborate than the Commons
There was no way I was going to be able to sneak photos here, everywhere was staffed by scary looking security people!
The Royal Gallery is stunning
The tour takes in the Member's Lobby, Peer's Lobby and the Robing Room where the Queen prepares for the State Opening of Parliament. She arrives up a short flight of stairs into the Robing room where she dons the ceremonial robes and the Imperial State Crown.
There is a nice shop and what looked like a very nice cafe, which unfortunately was closed for renovations at the time of our visit.
~ Be warm and well ~