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Houses of Parliament, Victoria Tower, and Big Ben

Houses of Parliament, Victoria Tower, and Big Ben


Houses of Parliament
The House of Commons and House of Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster, located next to the River Thames in London. Although still a Royal Palace, the last monarch to live here, Henry VIII, moved out in 1512. Parliament has met in the Palace of Westminster since around 1550.

There has been a royal palace on this site for nearly 1,000 years but most of the current building dates from the middle of the Nineteenth Century when the Palace was rebuilt after a fire destroyed most of the earlier medieval buildings in 1834.

At the opposite end of Palace of Westminster from the Clock Tower is the Victoria Tower, (center in this photo). The Tower holds the Parliamentary Archives.

The Victoria Tower was purpose-built for keeping records after the great fire of 1834 destroyed the Palace of Westminster and almost all the House of Commons records.