Parliament Square

Winston Churchill statue
Parliament Square map location

Parliament Square address

Parliament Square, Westminster SW1A

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Photo: Wikipedia Big Ben, and Houses of Parliament

Craig’s London blog> Read Craig’s review of Parliament Square  Check out my London blog for a full review, with photos

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Parliament Square is in the heart of Westminster bordered by Big Ben, Parliament and Westminster Abbey. There are also statues to the great and good, including Prime Minister Churchill and Abraham Lincoln.

The Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament have occupied the same spot since 1016, when King Canute built a royal residence. It was gutted by fire in 1834, and Charles Barry designed the gothic-style replacement.

The oldest surviving part is Westminster Hall – where England’s leading lights are laid in State. It also served as the country’s highest court until the mid 19th-century. The most famous case involved a certain Guy Fawkes, who was tried for treason in the Gunpowder Plot.

The two main chambers are the House of Lords – where the nobles used to sit – and the House of Commons, where the Prime Minister comes face to face with members of the opposition. Members of the public can watch these lively debates from up high in the gallery.

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is the setting for coronations, State funerals, and the burial place of many celebrated British figures.

Edward the Confessor was the first to be interred here, and William the Conqueror was crowned in 1066. The famous Coronation Chair from 1292 may look modest, but it has been used at nearly every coronation for 700 years.

A popular part of the Abbey is Poet’s Corner – where the nation’s poets and playwrights are laid to rest. You can see the graves and memorials to Chaucer, Milton, Tennyson, Wordsworth and Shakespeare.

St. Margaret’s

St. Margaret’s church is right next door to the Abbey, and is known as the parish church of Parliament.

Many famous people have been married here, including Samuel Pepys (1665), John Milton (1656) and Sir Winston Churchill (1908). The stained-glass window records another engagement – that of Prince Arthur to Catherine of Aragon. She later married his younger brother, Henry VIII.

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  • ChrisP – “They cant stop people protesting outside parliament, because that will make a complete mockery of our democracy. What kind of a signal will it give if they ban free speech outside the very place that is supposed to safeguard free speech? They need to strike a balance between the right to protest, and people who abuse that right. People who set up tents so they can live there are abusing it, I think. If they want to protest every single day of the year, fine. Let them do that. But dont let them build a house outside parliament so they can live there 24 hours a day.”

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If you enjoy this then try: Big Ben (you can walk it in less than 3 mins); Houses of Parliament (you can walk it in less than 3 mins); Westminster (you can walk it in 6 mins); Westminster Abbey (you can walk it in less than 3 mins) and Whitehall (you can walk it in 6 mins).

Listen to a speech at Speakers Corner Visit Speakers' Corner on a Sunday lunchtime and hear orators discussing whatever they like in the name of free speech.
Watch a real-life court case at the Old Bailey Watch the long arm of the law in action at the Old Bailey, where members of the public can sit in the gallery and watch a case.
Attend PMQs Prime Ministers Questions You can watch the Prime Minister get grilled by the House of Commons every Wednesday, at Prime Minister's Questions.
Mansion House: The Lord Mayors Residence Look inside the Lord Mayor of London's official residence at Mansion House and see the interior courtyard and famous Egyptian Hall.
Listen to MPs in the Houses of Commons Visit Parliament for free and watch MPs debating in the House of Commons and House of Lords.
Saturday tour of the Houses of Parliament The Houses of Parliament offers guided tours on most Saturdays when the MPs have returned to their constituencies.
Craig’s review of Prime Minister's Questions It's a big day for the Prime Minister today, because he's going to meet me for the first time. He's probably been informed that I'm coming, and will put on an extra special show. It's a bit of a rigmarole getting into Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs). It's only on once a week, for half-hour on Wednesday, and you can't just turn up and queue like on any other day. What you have to… continued
Craig’s review of Downing Street There are two kinds of people who stand outside Downing Street when the air is minus-5 (it's freezing cold this morning!): the curious and the furious. The curious are tourists. The furious are home grown. The cold must be keeping everyone away today because there's only one other person here (six if you include the coppers, seven if you include me) and I recognise him off the telly… continued
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