Artwork - The Painted Chamber and St. Stephen\'s Chapel after the Fire, 1834

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  • Title: The Painted Chamber and St. Stephen\'s Chapel after the Fire, 1834
  • Artist: Robert William Billings
  • Date: 1835--
  • Medium: Pencil drawing
  • Categories: Buildings
  • Catalogue number: WOA 3139
  • Description: On the left of Robert William Billing\'s drawing is the ruined Painted Chamber. The destruction of its medieval wall paintings was perhaps the greatest artistic loss of the fire that ravaged Parliament in 1834. Following the fire the Painted Chamber\'s sturdy walls had a final gasp of life as the temporary House of Lords from 1835 to 1847, before being pulled down in 1851.

    In the centre of the drawing stand the remains of the House of Commons Chamber (formerly St. Stephen\'s chapel). The tottering ruins were cleared to make way for the new Palace shortly after the fire and the stone sold to salvage merchants. Charles Barry designed St. Stephen\'s Hall - the wide passageway from Westminster Hall to the Central Lobby of his new Palace - on exactly the same footprint as the old House of Commons Chamber. This explains why, today, its walls are not quite in alignment with the rest of the new building
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