Photographer's Note

Undoubtable one of the most well recognized of London's sights-The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace and Big Ben.
Home to the two Houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (the House of Lords and the House of Commons), the palace lies on the north bank of the River Thames in the London borough of the City of Westminster, close by other government buildings in Whitehall.

The palace is one of the largest parliament buildings in the world. The layout of the palace is intricate, with its existing buildings containing nearly 1,200 rooms, 100 staircases and well over three kilometres (two miles) of corridors. Although mainly dating from the 19th century, among the original historic buildings is Westminster Hall, used nowadays for major public ceremonial events such as lyings in state, and the Jewel Tower.

The palace includes several towers;the tallest is the 98 metres (323 feet) Victoria Tower, a square tower at the south-western end of the Palace. The tower was named after the reigning monarch at the time of the reconstruction of the Palace, Queen Victoria. The tower is home to the Parliamentary Archives. Atop the Victoria Tower is an iron flagstaff, from which the Royal Standard (if the Sovereign is present in the Palace) or the Union Flag is flown. At the base of the Victoria Tower is the Sovereign's Entrance to the Palace. The monarch uses this entrance whenever entering the Palace of Westminster for the State Opening of Parliament or for any other official ceremony.

Over the middle of the Palace lies St. Stephen's Tower, also called the Central Tower. This tower is 91 m (300 ft) tall, making it the shortest of the three principal towers of the Palace. Unlike the other towers, St Stephen's Tower possesses a spire. It stands immediately above the Central Lobby, and is octagonally shaped. Its function was originally as a high-level air intake.

A small tower is positioned at the front of the Palace, between Westminster Hall and Old Palace Yard, and contains the main entrance to the House of Commons at its base, known as St Stephen's entrance.
At the north-eastern end of the Palace is the most famous of the towers, the Clock Tower (popularly referred to as Big Ben) which is 96 m (316 ft) tall. Pugin's drawings for the tower were the last work which he did for Barry, as he descended into his final illness. The Clock Tower houses a large clock, also designed by Pugin, known as the Great Clock of Westminster. On each of the four sides of the tower is a large clock face. The tower also houses five bells, which strike the Westminster Chimes every quarter hour. The largest and most famous of the bells is Big Ben (officially, the Great Bell of Westminster), which strikes the hour. This is the third heaviest bell in England, weighing 13 tons 10 cwt 99 lb (about 13.8 t). Although the term "Big Ben" properly refers only to the bell, it is often colloquially applied to the whole tower.*

PP Work: Keystone correction, conversion to B&W/ Sepia, level adjustment, sharpening, frame added.

I hope you like the shot, for more shots of my recent trip to London, please check the travelogue to the left.
- Dan


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Additional Photos by Dan Walsh (danielswalsh) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1458 W: 363 N: 2367] (13597)
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