Project Blog

Welcome to the project blog! Here you will find short articles created by members of the project team detailing new research, elements of the technical development process and our participation at conferences and events.

The Martyrdom of St John the Evangelist, carved and painted boss, 1858-1863. Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, Palace of Westminster.
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?

The Exhibition fully installed in Westminster Hall.
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.

King John confronted by his Barons assembled in force at Runnymede gives unwilling consent to Magna Carta, the foundation of justice and individual freedom in England, 1215, by Charles Sims. Oil on canvas, 1927. © Palace of Westminster Collection, WOA 2602
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.

George Scharf (?). The disclosure of Bishop Lyndwood’s burial. Watercolour, 1852. © The Trustees of the British Museum, 1874,0314.170.
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.

The Reformed House of Commons, 1833, by Sir George Hayter. Oil on canvas, 1833-34. © The National Portrait Gallery, London. NPG 54.
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.

John Wilkes, by William Hogarth. Etching, 1763. © The National Portrait Gallery, London. NPG D8506.
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.

Medieval seal of the College, from Brayley & Britton’s <em>Ancient Palace</em> (1836).
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.

Examples of tiles from St. Stephen’s Hall. (© Parliamentary Estates Directorate)
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.

Victoria Tower, New Palace of Westminster. Photograph by Stephen Ayling, 1867. © Victoria & Albert Museum, London. 61:115.
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.

The project's 'campaign map' of the medieval Palace.
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?