[14] Proposals to move to Charing Cross or St James's Park had a similar fate; the allure of tradition and the historical and political associations of Westminster proved too strong for relocation, despite the deficiencies of that site. [133][134][135] President Obama was the first US president to be allowed to use the Hall for an address to Parliament[136] and Aung San Suu Kyi was the first non-head of state to be given the accolade of addressing MPs and peers in Westminster Hall. Medieval windows above that and then it hits the grey cast iron roof, its greyness relieved by those delicate little windows again picked out in gold leaf. When repairs after the World War II bombing were completed, the rebuilt chamber was opened by King George VI on 26 October 1950 who was invited to an "unofficial" tour of the new structure by Commons leaders.[118][119]. [112], The room is similar to the Peers' Lobby but plainer in design and slightly larger, forming a cube 13.7 metres (45 ft) on all sides. The medieval House of Lords chamber, which had been the target of the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605, was demolished as part of this work in order to build a new Royal Gallery and a ceremonial entrance at the southern end of the palace. From New Palace Yard, access can also be gained to the Speaker's Court and the main entrance of the Speaker's House, located in the pavilion at the north-east corner of the Palace. It is 3.5 square metres by 250 millimetres thick, and weighs eight tonnes. Cooper, Theo E. (1927). They are the work of Richard Burchett and his pupils, and their creation entailed extensive research, which contributed to the founding of the National Portrait Gallery in 1856. [93][94][95], The room also contains a statue of Queen Victoria, seated on a throne (itself placed on a pedestal) and holding a sceptre and a laurel crown, which show that she both governs and rules. Visitors pass through metal detectors and their possessions are scanned. In 2012, a new stained glass window commemorating Queen Elizabeth II's diamond jubilee was installed opposite this window, at the other end of the hall.[131]. It was opened on 9 May 1988 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia.It cost more than A$1.1 billion to build. The forecourt reflects Australia’s ancient beginnings. There were many changes and additions over the years as the number of members, senators, staff and journalists increased. The legislative section at the front includes party meeting rooms and offices as well as the Chambers. rafted by Canadian artisans Almer Komendant and John Jones, as a gift from the Canadian Parliament and people, from North American cherry and walnut woods, leather and wool. Old Palace Yard, in front of the Palace, is paved over and covered in concrete security blocks (see security below). The two marble staircases feature stone finials created by Sydney sculptor Anne Ferguson, which were inspired by the seed forms of Australian trees. [128] In 1875, the courts were amalgamated into the High Court of Justice, which continued to have chambers adjacent to Westminster Hall until moved to the then new Royal Courts of Justice building in 1882. The Palace has also been the scene of numerous acts of politically motivated "direct action", which often took place in the Chamber of the House of Commons. The failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605 was a conspiracy among a group of Roman Catholic gentry to re-establish Catholicism in England by assassinating the Protestant King James I and replacing him with a Catholic monarch. [123] Richard's master builder Henry Yevele left the original dimensions, refacing the walls, with fifteen life-size statues of kings placed in niches. Being originally a royal residence, the Palace included no purpose-built chambers for the two Houses. Unlike many civic buildings, which express the power and tastes of individuals or political philosophies, Parliament House was designed to encourage public access and involvement while responding to the Australian climate, landscape, vegetation, and even the quality of the light. Charles Barry’s Gothic Revival design won a competition to recreate the building. The decorative theme of the room is the legend of King Arthur, considered by many Victorians the source of their nationhood. The bar elements of the shield were produced by hot-glass artist Warren Langley. The predecessors of Parliament, the Witenagemot and the Curia Regis, met in Westminster Hall (although they followed the King when he moved to other palaces). [124] The rebuilding had been begun by King Henry III in 1245, but by Richard's time had been dormant for over a century. The two red lines on the floor of the House of Commons are 2.5 metres (8 ft 2 in)[37] apart, which, by apocryphal tradition, is intended to be just over two sword-lengths. Such an honour is usually reserved for the Sovereign and for their consorts; the only non-royals to receive it in the twentieth century were Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts (1914) and Winston Churchill (1965). The Lords Spiritual (archbishops and bishops of the established Church of England) all occupy the Spiritual Side. The Old Parliament House building was designed by Chief Commonwealth Government architect John Smith Murdoch. For example, Addresses were presented at Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee (1977), Golden Jubilee (2002) and Diamond Jubilee (2012), the 300th anniversary of the Glorious Revolution (1988), and the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War (1995). The architect of this building designed the Old Parliament House to be simple yet functional. However, due to the start of World War I the next month, the competition was cancelled. [139] There is also a gymnasium, and even a hair salon; and a rifle range.

[73] This figure is flanked by allegorical statues of Justice and Clemency—the former with a bare sword and an inflexible expression and the latter showing sympathy and offering an olive branch. (Although it is not part of the main hall, these are usually spoken of as Westminster Hall debates.) The panelled ceiling, 13.7 metres (45 ft) above the floor,[37] features Tudor roses and lions, and the stained-glass windows show the coats of arms of the Kings of England and Scotland. Simon de Montfort's Parliament, the first to include representatives of the major towns, met at the Palace in 1265.

The two Houses have presented ceremonial Addresses to the Crown in Westminster Hall on important public occasions. I do not want to try even to talk about him, because although we were political opponents, he was a great friend of mine, and of yours, and a fine Australian.”. [127], Westminster Hall has served numerous functions. There are no cross-benches as in the House of Lords.

[15] In the meantime, the immediate priority was to provide accommodation for the next Parliament,[16] and so the Painted Chamber and White Chamber were hastily repaired for temporary use.[17]. The opening of Parliament House by the Duke of York, Canberra, 9 May 1927 http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-138030519, “Within these portals will be framed those laws which will mould the destiny of a people.