Happy ShopperHouses of Parliament

> The Houses of Parliament are in The Palace of Westminster. The part with the tiled roof - Westminster Hall (1) - is all that remains of the earlier palace that was destroyed by fire. When this was the monarch's main residence 900 years ago, the business of government became established on the site and it has remained here ever since.

> The famous Victorian, gothic-style building is faced with yellow Anton stone. This is a magnesium limestone that dissolves readily in acidic London rain and has needed a lot of restoration work.

> The clock tower (2) is home to the Great Bell of Westminster, or 'Big Ben', which strikes on the hour. Five smaller bells chime on the quarter hour. A lantern (3) above the clock - the Ayrton Light - is turned on when the MPs are sitting after dark.
> The public entrance to the Houses of Parliament is St Stephen's Porch (4). A corridor leads to the central lobby, and from here, the Commons chamber is off to the left and the Lords chamber (5) is off to the right.

> The octagonal central tower (6) directly above the octagonal central lobby, is an elaborate ventilation shaft into the building.

> The square Victoria Tower (7) is where the archive of parliamentary proceedings is kept. The rest of the building is essentially offices and committee rooms. There are 8 bars and 6 restaurants.

> The Houses of Parliament website can be seen here.

Home page © Streetsensation 1999-2018