England’s Parliament recently announced that a hidden door has been found in the walls of Westminster Hall. The House of Commons is one of the most important edifices in London and a world-famous landmark. The current building is the second incarnation of the structure, as the original palace from 1016 was severely damaged by fire in 1834. Even though more than 150 years have passed since the reconstruction of the edifice, there are still many unknown things about it and this discovery only proves it.
The Passageway Is Older Than the Building
According to experts, the newly found passageway is 360-years old. It is located in the cloister on Westminster Hall’s west side and leads into a small chamber, which would allow access to the hall itself if the other entry wasn’t sealed. The only features that remain from the closed-off 11.5 feet door are its hinges.
The discovery was made by Liz Hallam Smith, a University of York historical consultant for Parliament, and her team. They were browsing through 10,000 uncatalogued documents about the House of Commons when they found old plans for the walkway, which they later located in person.
During their inspection of the cloister’s paneling, they noticed a tiny brass keyhole, which many believed would open an electrical cupboard. They unlocked the panel with the help of the Parliamentary locksmith and found the long-lost corridor.
Who in the London’s House of Commons Used the Walkway?
Different documents revealed that the passageway was used during coronations, Speaker’s processions, and as a shortcut by various members of the Parliament. The corridor hasn’t been used for decades. Historians believe that it was last used during World War II since it is fitted with electrical wiring and has a light switch that turns on and off a working light bulb.
The discovery of the door and walkway was met with enthusiasm by both members of the Parliament and historians. It also brought up the question of how many more secrets this remarkable London edifice has?