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From the Tudors to the Great Fire of 1834

The Palace became the permanent home of Parliament after Henry VIII abandoned the Palace in favour of the nearby Palace of Whitehall following a fire

Edward VI handed over St Stephen's Chapel to the Commons for their use

Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the old Houses of Lords. He was subsequently executed in Old Palace Yard

Charles I was condemned to death in Westminster Hall following his defeat by Oliver Cromwell in the Civil War

Christopher Wren made alterations to the Commons' Chamber to accommodate new Scottish Members following the Union

James Wyatt ripped out more medieval fittings and destroyed ancient wall paintings in the Commons' Chamber to accommodate new Irish Members following the Union

Most of the medieval Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire on the night of 16 October. Only Westminster Hall, the Undercroft Chapel, the Cloisters and Chapter House of St Stephen's and the Jewel Tower survived


You can access biographies of

Henry VIII
Edward VI
Guy Fawkes
Charles I
Oliver Cromwell
Christopher Wren
James Wyatt

from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for free, online, using your local library card number (includes nine out of ten public libraries in the UK) or from within academic library and other subscribing networks.

Also within Living Heritage

The present-day Palace of Westminster was constructed after the Great Fire of 1834. Find out more about its architecture and interiors