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House of Lords ‘Portcullis' Chairs

Often referred to as a “House of Lords Portcullis Chair” there are currently over 1,200 of this type of chair in the House of Lords. It was originally designed by AWN Pugin in the 1840s and made at that time by two furniture makers Gillow and Holland & Sons. Identical chairs (minus the portcullis) were supplied during the later 1840s by both firms to several private houses for which Pugin was the architect.

Most of these chairs are oak but there are a small number in walnut which are thought to have originally been placed in residences within the Palace of Westminster. It is also visible in photographs in the Parliamentary Archives that not all of these chairs had a gold portcullis stamped into the leather but some instead had an entwined VR for Victoria Regina. 

In the 1960s and 1970s a number of companies supplied more of this design of chair for the Palace of Westminster and they are currently in extensive use throughout the House of Lords.