St Stephen''s Chapel Cloister, Westminster, 1834
Artist: Scharf, Henry
Medium: Pencil on paper
This drawing was made after the disastrous fire that consumed the majority of the Palace at Westminster in 1834. St. Stephen's chapel cloisters, Westminster Hall and the Jewel Tower remained largely intact.
The origins of the chapel date from the time of King Stephen, who reigned between 1135-1154. Although the chapel was initially used as a place of worship, it became the first permanent home for the House of Commons in 1550. Politicians met here for nearly 300 years, before fire struck on 16th October 1834. These events brought about the construction of the magnificent neo gothic palace, designed by Sir Charles Barry and Augustus Welby Pugin. William Smith, known as "the father of geology", advised the architects on the choice of stone for the building.