360-Year-Old Room Rediscovered in the British Parliament
In Britain, a historian has rediscovered a 360-year-old room at the Palace of Westminster, BBC reports. The hidden Room served as a passage between the lower house, the British parliament and the Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the palace.
When historian Hallam Smith flipped through old maps of the Palace of Westminster, he noticed an unknown entrance. And what turned out? A small door is hidden in the wooden cladding of a corridor in the lower house, BBC reports.
Behind it is a small room that was used as a passage to the Westminster Hall. A stone wall now closes the entrance.
The passage was created in 1660 for the coronation of Charles II to allow guests to go to the banquet in the adjacent building. For years, British MPs used the passage until it was closed in 1851.
Space was first discovered in 1950 during repairs. Afterwards, the passage was closed and forgotten. During the restoration, a lamp and switch were connected that still seem to work after seventy years.
Another surprise was found in the secret room. The construction workers who had locked the Room left a text on the walls. “This room was closed by Tom Porter who likes dark beer,” it says.
Hallam Smith said, “I was amazed; it shows that the palace of Westminster still hides many secrets.” The hidden passage was already visited by Lindsay Hoyle, the president of the lower house.