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Westmister Hall

This famous building is the judicial and administrative centre of the UK.

The Georgian House Hotel is the perfect place to stay if you are planning to come to London to visit the Westminster Hall. The hotel is located in a safe quiet area of Pimlico, just 10 minutes walk from the hall. The rooms are attractive and comfortable and the service is kind and attentive.
Westminster Hall Accommation

The Importance of Westminster Hall

The Westminster Hall was designed originally as a place for feasting and entertaining, but its very size made it more than that. Among other uses, the Royal Council of bishops, nobles and ministers assembled there. The special later form of this Council, which came to be known as Parliament, was the forerunner of the present House of Lords. It was also the site of the first true English Parliament to include elected representatives, summoned by Simon de Montfort in 1265. While Parliament has never met in the Westminster Hall on a regular basis, it was the existence of the Hall, which at that time was the largest in Europe, which helped to make Westminster the judicial and administrative centre of the kingdom.

History of Westminster Hall

The Palace was one of the monarch's principal homes throughout the later Middle Ages, and for this reason the institutions of Government came to be clustered in the Westminster area. To the east and south of the Hall lay the domestic apartments of the mediaeval Palace, and later, the royal chapel of St Stephen. Kings worshipped in the upper Chapel and their courtiers in the lower level or "crypt" chapel below.

The Westminster Hall, of which the walls were built in 1097-99, as part of an intended reconstruction of the whole palace, is the oldest existing building on the Palace of Westminster site. The Westminster Hall was also the traditional venue for Coronation banquets.

During later centuries, the Westminster Hall housed the courts of law, and was the place of many notable state trials, for instance, those of Thomas More, Charles I, Warren Hastings, and the Gunpowder Plot conspirators. With its many shops and stalls, selling wigs, pens, books and other legal paraphernalia, it became one of the chief centres of London life.

Modern Uses of Westminster Hall

The Westminster Hall, which survived the fire of 1834 and the bombing of 1941, is now used for major public ceremonies. Among recent events there have been the presentation of Addresses to the Queen on the Silver Jubilee in 1977, to mark 50 years since the end of World War II in 1995, and the opening of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in 1986. On these occasions, the Westminster Hall is brightly lit and decked with flowers and coloured hangings, and presents an altogether different public face from its normal rather sombre appearance.

The Westminster Hall is also the place where lyings in state of monarchs, consorts, and (rarely) very distinguished statesmen take place. The first such occasion was Gladstone in 1898, followed by, in the last century, King George VI [1952], Queen Mary [1953] and Sir Winston Churchill [1965]. In April 2002 several hundred thousand people queued to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth, the late Queen Mother, as she lay in state in the Westminster Hall.

For more information visit www.parliament.uk/about/history/westminsterhall.cfm

Georgian House Hotel is ideally situated in a very central location, so visiting sights all over London is quick and easy. Why not book Georgian House Hotel when you visit Westminster Hall? You can book online or email to make a reservation on reception@georgianhousehotel.co.uk, or telephone on 0044(0)207 834 1438