St Stephen’s Chapel is the forgotten heart of the Palace of Westminster. For seven centuries St Stephen’s was at the centre of the political and religious life of the nation, and its influence may still be detected today.
As the palace chapel of the most important royal residence of medieval England, St Stephen’s witnessed the worship of kings and queens and their households. Its college of canons combined their religious duties with service to the crown as diplomats and administrators.
In 1548 St Stephen’s took on a dramatic new role as the debating chamber of the House of Commons. After the devastating fire of 1834 it was reimagined by Charles Barry as St Stephen’s Hall, which is still the public entranceway into Parliament.