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Dissolution of Parliament

The dissolution of Parliament took place on Thursday 30 May 2024. All business in the House of Commons and House of Lords has come to an end. There are currently no MPs and every seat in the Commons is vacant until after the general election on 4 July 2024.

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St Stephen's Chapel

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.

Also within Living Heritage

Westminster Hall is the oldest building in Parliament and virtually the only part of the ancient Palace of Westminster which survives in almost its original form. Find out more about its long history

The present-day Palace of Westminster, or the Houses of Parliament as it is also known, was constructed after a great fire in 1834. Find out more about its architecture and the history of the buildings that stood on the estate before the fire.

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

Visiting

Related information

Take an interactive tour of Westminster Hall

Visitors to the Houses of Parliament can ask any questions about their visit, or the work of the House of Commons and House of Lords, at the information desk in Westminster Hall

Also within Living Heritage

The present-day Palace of Westminster, or the Houses of Parliament as it is also known, was constructed after a great fire in 1834. Find out more about its architecture and the history of the buildings that stood on the estate before the fire.

Related information

Visiting

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