Secret Passage Dating to 1660 Is Found Inside U.K. Parliament

LONDON — A 360-year-old passageway as soon as utilized by British monarchs has been rediscovered inside Parliament, revealing a chunk of historical past that was thought to have been completely coated up after World Warfare II.

For many years, it was thought that the one remnant of the passageway, inbuilt 1660, was a brass plaque inside Westminster Corridor, the oldest of Parliament’s buildings, marking the place the doorway would have been.

As an alternative, entry to the passage had remained hidden in plain sight for about 70 years.

“To say we have been stunned is an understatement,” Mark Collins, historian of the Parliament’s estates, mentioned in a press release on Wednesday. “We actually thought it had been walled up perpetually after the battle.”

The passage, created for a procession to the 17th-century coronation banquet of Charles II, was then used for about 150 years for different coronations and by lawmakers to achieve entry from the corridor by means of to the unique Home of Commons chamber. Among the many luminaries more likely to have used the route embody, historians consider, Robert Walpole, who is usually considered Britain’s first prime minister.

The passage main by means of to Westminster Corridor was blocked up on each side within the mid-19th century as a part of renovation works after a fireplace in Parliament. The route lay untouched for near a century till it was discovered by staff finishing up repairs after the constructing was bombed in World Warfare II.

In an try to protect that restored entry, staff carved a small wood door into the paneling within the adjoining hallway — however the consequence turned out to be too discreet. With the passing of time, the door was forgotten and historians thought that the 1950s restore job had blocked entry fully.

Westminster Corridor dates to the 11th century, although a lot of the Homes of Parliament, additionally referred to as the Palace of Westminster, was constructed within the mid-1800s.


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