“Sir Giles Gilbert Scott – The Palace of Westminster,” a short article published on the Parliament website, offers a brief history lesson on how the Palace of Westminster was damaged during the Second World War and redesigned by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. It also looks at the gifts members of the Commonwealth gave to assist with the refurbishment.

The Second World War

During the Second World War, the Palace of Westminster was damaged by air raids. The House of Commons Chamber and Westminster Hall sustained the worst damage. The fire service managed to save the ancient hall, but the Commons Chamber was destroyed.

Sir Giles Gilbert Scott was enlisted to redesign the building. The designs for the architectural scheme, woodwork, furniture and fittings were undertaken by him.

He was instructed to keep a Gothic feel to the new chamber. Despite being versed in neo-Gothic style, work for the Palace of Westminster was a career defining gig. So, Scott researched tirelessly and drew on family experience to achieve the best possible design.

Members of the Commonwealth

The article “Sir Giles Gilbert Scott – The Palace of Westminster,” also includes some fascinating photographs of some of the gifts given by Members of the Commonwealth to assist with the chamber’s refurbishment. These include letter racks and ink stands, despatch boxes, ashtrays, lamps and furniture.

The article also notes that twelve Commonwealth members gave special native woods grown in their country to be made into furniture.

To find out more about this story, we invite you to read the original article on the Parliament website.