The marks [+] placed on each side of this tablet indicate the position of an archway which for upwards of 130 years, from the first year of the reign of King Edward VI AD 1547 - until the year 1680 was the principal access to the House of Commons. which sat under a grant from that Monarch within the Chapel of St Stephen. Members approaching the House of Commons through this archway passed down the Cloister, which is built against the other side of this wall, ascended a flight of steps leading from the South West corner of the Cloister to a vestibule attached to the west front of St Stephen's Chapel, & entered the building by the Western doorways. King Charles I passed through this archway. when on the 4th January 1641-2, he attempted to arrest in the House of Commons the five Members of Parliament. This access to the House of Commons fell into disuse after the year 1680. A doorway was then cut through the centre of the South wall of this Hall which led to the entrance into the House of Commons through the West doors of St Stephen's Chapel. a route which remained in use until that building was destroyed by the fire of the 16th October 1834

Photo of Bronze plaque number 42546
terenceeden on Flickr

House of Commons, London
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by First Commissioner of H M Works and Public Buildings

Colour: bronze

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