London History Day events on 31 May 2017

Houses of Parliament black and white c1900
24 April 2017

On Wednesday 31 May 2017, Parliament will take part in the first ever London History Day with a series of events on the theme ‘1,000 years of history…where history is still being written’.

Visitors will have the chance to attend a free talk about the Elizabeth Tower by one of the clockmakers or Big Ben tour guides. Families visiting with children can take one of the ‘London History’ themed family guided tours around Parliament.

To mark the launch of the first ever London History Day, Londoners were invited to take part in a YouGov poll about the capital. The Houses of Parliament was voted as the place that best sums up London and 31 May was chosen to be the first ever London History Day date as it is the date that Big Ben started keeping time in 1859.

How to book tickets

Places for the two Elizabeth Tower talks are limited and the free tickets must be booked in advance, either online or by calling our Bookings Team on +44 (0)20 7219 4114 (lines open Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm).

The Elizabeth Tower talks will commence promptly at 10am in rooms just off Westminster Hall. Ticket holders are welcome to enter from 9.30am and should allow sufficient time to pass through the airport style security.

The special London history-themed family guided tours are now fully booked. Regular audio tours and guided tours are still available throughout the day.

Tour tickets can be purchased online, by calling +44 (0)20 7219 4114 or in person from the Ticket Office at the front of Portcullis House on Victoria Embankment.

Follow the Parliamentary Archives on London History Day

A wider audience can have a ‘behind the scenes’ look at rarely seen London-themed objects in Parliament’s Heritage Collections on social media throughout the day. Follow @UKParlArchives on Twitter and UK Parliamentary Archives on Facebook to discover some #LondonHistoryDay treasures.

Objects which will be highlighted include the Ceremonial Silver Trowel used to lay the first stone of the Elizabeth Tower and photographs of the damage caused by air raids on the Houses of Parliament during the Blitz.

The Parliamentary Archives provides access to the archives of the House of Lords, the House of Commons and to other records relating to Parliament.

More about London History Day

London History Day is a Historic England initiative. It forms part of their new campaign to ‘Keep It London’. The aim of the campaign is to encourage the public to notice, celebrate and speak up for the London’s heritage.

For Historic England’s first ever London History Day on Wednesday 31 May, over 40 of the city’s museums and galleries will stage special events and rare displays for one day only.

From the treasures of the Thames to the document which granted London its rights and freedoms, family workshops to walking tours and talks, enjoy delving into London’s diverse history.

Image credit: Parliamentary Archives, FAR/4/14

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