Westminster Hall

Westminster Hall

Westminster Hall was the home of English superior courts until they were moved to the Strand in the early 1880s. Construction of the hall began in 1097; the hall is 240 feet long, 671/2 feet wide, and 90 feet high. In addition to holding regular court sessions, the hall was the focal point of medieval political life.

Many famous trials were held in the hall. Sir Thomas More (1478–1535), lord chancellor for Henry VIII (1491–1547), was sentenced to death for refusing to recognize royal supremacy over the church. Charles I (1600–49) was sentenced to death for Treason, and Warren Hastings (1732–1818) was impeached for his handling of the East India Company.

Westminster Hall contained the King's Bench, the Court of Chancery, and the Court of Common Pleas. Until the eighteenth century, it had no partitions or screens to divide the courts from the open hall.

The hall was part of Westminster Palace, which, except for the hall and St. Stephen's Chapel, was destroyed by fire in 1834. The houses of Parliament were constructed next to the hall between 1840 and 1860.

References in classic literature ?
One evening, shortly before twilight, he came his accustomed road upon the river's bank, intending to pass through Westminster Hall into Palace Yard, and there take boat to London Bridge as usual.
To an Englishman, accustomed to the paraphernalia of Westminster Hall, an American Court of Law is as odd a sight as, I suppose, an English Court of Law would be to an American.
Even our Becky had her weaknesses, and as one often sees how men pride themselves upon excellences which others are slow to perceive: how, for instance, Comus firmly believes that he is the greatest tragic actor in England; how Brown, the famous novelist, longs to be considered, not a man of genius, but a man of fashion; while Robinson, the great lawyer, does not in the least care about his reputation in Westminster Hall, but believes himself incomparable across country and at a five-barred gate--so to be, and to be thought, a respectable woman was Becky's aim in life, and she got up the genteel with amazing assiduity, readiness, and success.
But as that wouldn't do in Westminster Hall, and as it wouldn't look quite professional if they were seen by a client, they decamped.
Westminster Hall itself is a shady solitude where nightingales might sing, and a tenderer class of suitors than is usually found there, walk.
Assuredly not one of our Westminster Hall authorities,' said he, 'but still no despicable one to a man possessing the largely-practical Mr Merdle's knowledge of the world.
I saw a man examined as a witness in Westminster Hall.
visiting-the-Houses-of-Parliament- by Disability Horizons There is bench seating in Westminster Hall, and visitor assistants can escort visitors with disabilities from Westminster Hall to Central Lobby.
Conservative backbencher Sir Roger Gale told MPs in a Westminster Hall debate they could remove their jackets in view of the hot weather - but not their ties.
The current landmark dates to 1097, when William Rufus laid the foundation stone for Westminster Hall.
New Dawn, a "contemporary light sculpture" by artist Mary Branson, will be revealed in Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the historic building, and is the first piece of abstract art commissioned for permanent display in the Houses of Parliament.
THE CORPORATE OFFICER OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS AND THE CORPORATE OFFICER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS announced tender for Contract notice for Provision of Conservation of Westminster Hall Phase 3 (Internal Roof, Lantern, Lighting Installation and Fire Safety).
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