london panoramic cityscape
Houses of Parliament
- House of CommonsLondon 
Parliament Square
London SW1A 0AA
TfL Fare Zone 1
 

 

The Houses of Parliament suffered bomb damage during World War II and the northern end of the building which contained the 19th century Chamber of the House of Commons was destroyed. The new Chamber is quite austere in comparison to the House of Lords’ Chamber.

The Chamber is only 46 ft (14 metres) wide and 68 ft (21 Metres) long. The Members’ benches are upholstered in green and face each other down the length of the Chamber. The ‘wooden’ Strangers’ Gallery runs around the upper part of the Chamber with the walls panelled in wood.
 
Speaker's Chair
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At one end is the Speaker’s Chair given by Australia and the Clerks’ table is in the centre between the two banks of benches. On the table are two despatch boxes given by New Zealand on which Members are often seen leaning when delivering their speeches.
 
The Chamber has seating for only 427 of the 650 Members. During Prime Minister’s Question Time and major debates the unseated members have to stand at the back of the Chamber. Government Members sit on the Speaker’s right and Opposition Members on the left.
 
When Divisions are called bells ring throughout the building and outside in the grounds, even in the tunnel leading from Westminster Underground Tube Station to warn Members that they must hurry up and get into the Chamber to deliver their vote.
 
Rough Justice
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By tradition the Queen does not enter the Chamber of the House of Commons. The last monarch to do so was King Charles I and we all know what happened to him!
 
Further Information 
 
Palace of Westminster 
The Palace of Westminster (Parliament) website has an excellent downloadable map showing the layout of the different parts of the Parliament as well as Public transport options  Web:  UK Parliament Map & Transport
 
Getting There
To find the best way for getting to the House of Commons, visit Tfl Journey Planner.
 
- By Underground
Westminster Station   Circle, District & Jubilee Lines
 
- By Bus
Many buses pass the Houses of Parliament. A list of these buses is on the website of the Palace of Westminster - UK Parliament Map & Transport.
 
- By Open Top Bus Tour
Do not forget that Visitors can use their ‘Open Top’ sightseeing bus ticket to travel to 10 Downing Street and visit Horse Guards, The Banqueting House and the
 
 
Google Maps - Houses of Parliament