The House of Commons at Westminster Palace is depicted as it was almost 20 years before the destruction of virtually the whole of the Palace by fire in 1834. The Speaker’s Chair is located centrally within the room, which was formerly used as a chapel. In front of it is the Table of the House, which was rescued from the fire and is now kept within the Speaker's apartments at Westminster Palace.
St Stephen's Chapel was used as the debating chamber of the House of Commons from 1547. MPs sat facing each other in medieval choir stalls and this arrangement influenced the design in use today. Architect Sir Christopher Wren added the galleries during the reign of Queen Anne and in 1800 architect James Wyatt was commissioned to increase the size of the chamber by reducing the thickness of the walls.
This is an illustration to a series of volumes titled ‘The Beauties of England and Wales’. The project began in 1800 when Edward Wedlake Brayley and John Britton made a walking tour from London to north Wales, gathering knowledge of topography and archaeology. The friends became joint editors of the volumes. However, both withdrew from the undertaking in 1814 and others took their place, completing the work in 1816.
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