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An extraordinary history

The Palace today

Today the Houses of Parliament are regarded as the world’s finest example of early Gothic Revival architecture. They are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which incorporates Westminster Abbey, the Jewel Tower and St Margaret’s Church.

Although designed specifically for Parliament, the building remains a Royal Palace. In 1965 the Queen confirmed that its use should be permanently enjoyed by Parliament. In 1992 responsibility for maintaining the Palace was transferred from the government to Parliament.

Before the Covid19 pandemic began, hundreds of thousands of people from school children to tourists would visit the Palace every year. During the pandemic, Parliament is offering virtual tours instead. To find out more information about the virtual tours or book a ticket, click here.