Friday 7th July 2017 | Dr John Cooper
Looking back on the St Stephen’s Project, there have been numerous high points during our four years of research. A lasting memory will be the day in June 2015 when we brought the sacred music of Nicholas Ludford back to the site of St Stephen’s Chapel for the first time since the Reformation, sung by the choir of Gonville and Caius College Cambridge. Thanks to a grant from the University of York’s Strategic Initiative Fund, we were able to employ a professional film crew to record this unique event. Watch and listen here.
Wednesday 20th July 2016 | Dr Caroline Shenton
“It is my object, as an architect”, Charles Barry told MPs considering the decoration of the New Houses of Parliament in 1841, “to give the most striking effect to the building as a whole, and I think that the effect of architecture can in no way be so highly enhanced as by the arts of painting and sculpture”.
Monday 20th June 2016 | Jennifer Caddick
In this month's blog post, Jennifer Caddick of the University of York explores the use of the medieval Place of Westminster's Painted Chamber as the meeting place for parliaments. How did its lavishly decorated walls inspire and inform proceedings?
Friday 13th May 2016 | Dr Mark Collins
In this month’s blog post, Dr Mark Collins, Archivist and Historian of the Parliamentary Estates Directorate, explores recent archaeological discoveries at the Palace of Westminster. Excavations by Museum of London Archaeology in Black Rod’s garden uncover evidence for the Tudor riverfront of the medieval palace, timber posts and fragments of high-status encaustic tile.
Wednesday 13th April 2016 | Dr Elizabeth Biggs
In this month’s blog post, our Project’s Ph.D. Student Researcher, Elizabeth Biggs, opens a fascinating window into the House of Commons, from archival sources uncovered in the Huntington Library, California. The story is one of the vicissitudes of sixteenth century fashion, the suggestive power of institutional memory and the precedents for galleries inside the Commons Chamber itself.
Wednesday 14th October 2015 | James Ford
James Ford of the University of Nottingham examines the continuing significance of one of the 'Building of Britain' murals in St Stephen's Hall. Thomas Monnington's monumental commemoration of the 1707 Act of Union provoked differing responses when unveiled, and its subject still resonates in current debate on the nature, and future, of the Union itself.
Monday 14th September 2015 | Dr James Hillson
In this month's blog post our Associate Researcher, James Hillson, considers the singular reoccurrence of individuals named John in the history of St Stephen's Chapel, Westminster. From the medieval fabric roles, to Georgian antiquaries, and on to present-day scholars, why do so many Johns seem gravitate towards this one building?
Friday 14th August 2015 | Lizzie Atkinson
To mark the Project’s Exhibition Parliament in the Making: St Stephen’s Chapel, Lizzie Atkinson, one of three volunteer interns with the Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past (IPUP) at the University of York, records her impressions of fielding the public’s reaction and engagement to the seven-hundred-year saga of St Stephen’s Chapel.
Monday 15th June 2015 | James Ford
To commemorate the eight-hundredth anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta, our new associate researcher James Ford examines the reception of Charles Sims’ depiction of events at Runneymede in 1215. This is the first of two blog posts exploring the series of monumental canvases, collectively known as The Building of Britain series, commissioned in the early-Twentieth Century to decorate St Stephen's Hall.
Wednesday 13th May 2015 | Dr Elizabeth Biggs
Elizabeth Biggs of the University of York explores the surprising discovery of William Lyndwood's burial at St Stephen's Chapel in 1852, and muses upon why this fifteenth-century Bishop of St David's chose to be buried here.
Monday 13th April 2015 | Rebekah Moore
Rebekah Moore of the Institute of Historical Research explains the significance of one of the last depictions of St Stephen’s before the 1834 fire, painted to commemorate the Great Reform Act of 1832.
Tuesday 17th March 2015 | Dr Robin Eagles
Dr Robin Eagles of the History of Parliament Trust explores the political career of that champion of liberty John Wilkes MP, and the importance of Alice’s Coffee House to the workings of eighteenth century legislature.
Tuesday 13th January 2015 | Dr James Jago
Dr James Jago explains the story behind the St Stephen’s Chapel Logo, and the enduring significance of St Stephen to the Palace of Westminster and this Project as a whole.
Tuesday 18th November 2014 | Dr Mark Collins
Dr Mark Collins looks at the encaustic tiles in St. Stephen’s Hall, which have recently undergone a programme of conservation as part of an overall plan to repair the tile floors throughout the Palace of Westminster.
Friday 17th October 2014 | Dr Martha Vandrei
Martha Vandrei considers the issues of national identity and stylistic association in the reconstruction of the Palace of Westminster following the 1834 fire.
Friday 19th September 2014 | Dr John Cooper
The impending first anniversary of starting work on the St Stephen’s project seems a good moment to pause and reflect. What have we achieved so far, and where will we be heading next? What do I know about the role of Principal Investigator that I didn’t know when that marvellous email arrived from AHRC just over a year ago, informing us that we had been granted the money? What kind of an impact is our project beginning to make?
Monday 23rd June 2014 | Dr Caroline Shenton
Exploring the story behind George Scharf's 'Panorama of the Ruins of the Old Palace of Westminster', a painting of the Westminster ruins in the immediate aftermath of the fire of 1834.
Friday 6th June 2014 | Dr James Hillson
Find out more about the ongoing research into the architectural history of St Stephen's Chapel. This information then feeds into the production of accurate digital drawings, which will in turn inform the generation of 3D models.
Tuesday 27th May 2014 | Dr Elizabeth Hallam Smith (Chair)
Find out about the partnership between the St Stephen's Chapel project and the Houses of Parliament, written by Liz Hallam Smith - Director of Information Services and Librarian at the House of Lords and Chair of the project's executive board.
Monday 2nd December 2013 | Dr Elizabeth Biggs
A perspective from Elizabeth Biggs, a PhD student associated with the project whose task involves constructing a history of the college of canons at the chapel of St Stephen’s.