Something a little worrying caught my eye in the news this week. The Houses of Parliament are at risk of crumbling into the river Thames meaning that MP’s have had to discuss the possibility of selling the building and re-locating. Big Ben, the clock tower, is leaning at a significant tilt which has prompted the concerns. Damage to the building may have partly been caused by the construction of the underground tube lines or just natural earth movements over time.
I am a proud Londoner. Part of what I love about the Capital is the wonderful architecture and history of the buildings. The Houses of Parliament, known as Westminster palace, potentially pre-date the Anglo-Saxon era over 1000 years ago. The original palace became first became home to Parliament in the Tudor period and the original House of Lords was almost blown up by Guy Fakes about a centaury later in the infamous ‘Gunpowder-Plot’. Unfortunately a further two centauries on, the majority of the original building was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1834. The building was then reformed to what stands on the Westminster bank today.
The Houses of Parliament are an icon of British politics and historic traditions so it would be a terrible shame if the MP’s were forced to leave. Fortunately this is only a last resort proposal and it is more likely that the building will have to be repaired to prevent further damage.