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The Houses of Parliament


Today in the evening, in 1834, the Houses of Parliament burned down.
The Guardian reported that "the interior of the house of lords was filled with one vast flame, casting its lurid glare far over the horizon, spreading over the silent Thames a vast sheet of crimson. . ." Despite fire engines pulling water out of the Thames, the fire rose. "The wind veered somewhat towards the west, thus throwing the flames immediately upon the house of commons. . . In a very short time indeed, the whole of the roof fell in with a tremendous crash, emitting millions of sparks and flakes of fire."

Out of the ashes rose the Houses of Parliament. Designed by Charles Barry and A.W.N Pugin, the Houses are Gothic in style, and spring from English vernacular architecture, the architecture of the people. This is fitting because it was the people who created Parliament and the history of freedom. The Houses belong to them.

How they fought for freedom in and out of Parliament appears in LIBERTY! THE TIMELINE