Tours and Educational Information
I am very fortunate to work in what I consider to be the most historic building in the world. It is a truly unique place and one which has changed throughout the years in the same way that society has itself. Whenever I welcome people to Parliament, I always make sure I tell them “This is your Parliament, it does not belong to MP’s, Peers or the Queen, but to the British Public”. I would encourage everyone to visit this historic place at least once to truly understand the way this country is governed.
The oldest part of the Palace of Westminster dates back to 1097 and an official tour offers the opportunity to view this historic building. It also provides the chance to see the way in which British society has sought to influence changes to the law which have been made in Acts of Parliament throughout the years. For example, it was as a result of the hard work of the women’s suffrage movement that meant that in 1928 all women over the age of 21 were given the vote. The action of the suffrage movement within the walls of Parliament itself was an integral part of this struggle.
A tour also offers the opportunity to see the spot where the only British Prime Minister to be assassinated, was shot, where the trials of William “Braveheart” Wallace and Guy Fawkes took place and walk over the spot where Guy Fawkes placed his gunpowder. You will also see the yard in which he was later ‘hung, drawn and quartered’.
You will also be able to stand where Winston Churchill once stood to make his historic speeches during the Second World War (which was actually within the House of Lords Chamber due to the fact that the House of Commons Chamber was bombed). You can follow the same steps the Queen takes when she enters Parliament and to go where even the Queen cannot – into the House of Commons Chamber. You will also be able to see where (it is believed) Henry VIII played tennis.
There is also the opportunity to take an official tour of the Clock Tower and stand next to Big Ben when it chimes or attend Parliament to watch a debate take place. For more information about what is available please use the links on this page.