Houses of Parliament

I went on a tour of the Houses of Parliament today, which was well worth doing. Most obvious point: the chambers of the Lords and the Commons are both really surprisingly small. Too small, in fact; you can see why the Commons is standing-room only for PMQs.

I was amused by the fact that, while the Lords’ part of the building is dolled up in elaborate carvings, gold leaf, painted ceilings, mosaics and other gothic bling, the Commons is much plainer and more austere. This is no doubt meant to be symbolic – but of what? The decor in the Lords is so OTT that I almost felt it was gently poking fun at their lordships. I assume that wasn’t what Pugin intended.

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