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Contemporary Context

Very few sections of the medieval Palace of Westminster survive today, due to the fire of 1834.

Most can be visited

The five surviving parts of the medieval Palace of Westminster are Westminster Hall, the Jewel Tower, the Chapel of St Mary's Undercroft, and the Cloisters and Chapter House of St Stephen's Chapel.

Some of these medieval buildings may be visited by members of the public today.

  • Westminster Hall is currently used for important ceremonies, receptions, anniversaries, exhibitions and the lying-in-state of monarchs and their consorts. It can also be seen during visits and on the visitor tour of Parliament
  • The Jewel Tower is now in the care of English Heritage, and contains an exhibition on the history of Parliament
  • Access to the Chapel of St Mary's Undercroft is limited to MPs and Members of the House of Lords and their guests at specific times. A regular service of worship is held on Wednesdays for Parliament and Parliamentary staff, and the Chapel is also used by MPs and Members of the House of Lords and their families for weddings and christenings
  • The Cloisters and Chapter House are now used as offices and writing rooms and are not open to the public

Page last updated September 2015.

Also within Living Heritage

Related information

Parliament is open to the UK public and overseas visitors. Attend debates, watch committee hearings and tour the buildings

External link

To find out how to visit the Jewel Tower visit English Heritage's website