Westminster Hall

Westminster Hall is the oldest building on the Parliamentary estate. What makes it such an astonishing building is not simply its great size and the magnificence of its roof, but its central role in British history. In and around the Hall, grew up the major institutions of the British state: Parliament, the law courts and various government offices.

Closely involved in the life of the nation since the 11th century, a journey through the Hall's past is a journey through 900 fascinating years of our history.

Government and administration

Find out how Westminster Hall acted as the legal and administrative centre of the kingdom for several centuries

Contemporary context

Contemporary context

Learn more about the present-day uses of Westminster Hall

Further your research

Further your research

Reference material for more in-depth research

2015: Parliament in the Making

2015: Parliament in the Making logo

Join Parliament as we commemorate a series of major anniversaries in 2015: 750 years since De Montfort Parliament and 800 years since the sealing of Magna Carta.

Related information

H M Airship R101 was one of a pair of experimental rigid airships commissioned by the British government in the 1920s as a method of long-distance air travel.

After a series of test flights, the R101 caught fire in Northern France, killing 48 of the 54 people on board. The victims lay in state at Westminster Hall on 10th October 1930.

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

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