The Architectural Fabric Collection consists of more than 5,000 objects that were commissioned for the Palace of Westminster and the wider Parliamentary estate. Most are items that are now detached from the exterior of our buildings, or from the historic interiors. The collection is incredibly varied, ranging from the Medieval period to the 21st century.
A significant part of our collection used to be found on the outside of our buildings. These objects include stonework, such as sections of tracery, grotesques and other stone carving. Roofing, metalwork and tiles also feature, while items removed from the Parliamentary estate include railings, lamp posts and gates.
You will find a wide range of materials and techniques within the decorative interior items. These include stained glass, painted ceiling panels, doors, fireplace accessories and carved wood wall panelling.
The collection holds work by significant designers and manufacturers. Examples include wallpapers produced by Cole and Son, and encaustic floor tiles designed by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852) in the Gothic Revival style and made by Herbert Minton (1793-1858).
The Palace of Westminster is a Grade I listed building, which is internationally recognised for its architectural and cultural significance. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. The Palace also stands in the Lundenwic and Thorney Island Archaeological Priority Areas, which were inhabited in Roman, Saxon and Medieval times.
Important archaeological finds held in the Architectural Fabric Collection include the 13th century King’s Table. In 2006, renovation in Westminster Hall uncovered fragments of marble and stone from this Medieval table. They had been hidden for more than 300 years.