Palace of Westminster Fire, 1834


Y/M/D Description Place
1834/10/16 Throughout the day, a chimney fire smoulders under the floor of the House of Lords chamber, caused by the unsupervised burning of two cartloads of wooden tally sticks in a heating furnaces. Warning signs were persistently ignored by the staff. Medieval Palace of Westminster, Palace of Westminster
1834/10/16 At a few minutes after six in the evening, a doorkeeper's wife sees flames licking through the floor in the Lords Chamber. Medieval Palace of Westminster, Palace of Westminster
1834/10/16 The fire at the Palace of Westminster is visible on the roof. As panic issues inside, no-one seems to have raise the alarm outside. Medieval Palace of Westminster, Palace of Westminster
1834/10/16 A huge fireball erupts out of the Palace illuminating up the evening sky over London. Immediately attracting hundreds of thousands of people. Most are awestruck and terrified by the spectacle, some are injured in the crush, and many are pickpocketed. Palace of Westminster, London
1834/10/16 Parish engines, insurance companies and the private London Fire Engine Establishment battle the Palace of Westminster fire. Paid in beer, hundreds of volunteers, including MPs and Peers, work the pumps. Gates, Railings, Gate Piers To New Palace Yard, Houses Of Parliament, Palace of Westminster
1834/10/16 At the end of Abingdon Street, looking north across Old Palace Yard, William Heath makes sketches of the Palace of Westminster fire by the light of the flames. Drawn on stone, Heath will later create a hand coloured lithographs of the destruction. Jewel Tower of the Palace Of Westminster, London
1834/10/16 AWN Pugin, future designer of the Houses of Parliament, stands with a massive crowd watching the flames devour the House of Commons. Medieval Palace of Westminster, Palace of Westminster
1834/10/16 From the south bank of the River Thames, J M W Turner witnesses a fire consuming the Palace of Westminster. At least 44 artists are known to have painted the blaze itself or the ruins of the ancient building. Westminster Bridge, London
1834/10/16 Firefighters and hundreds of volunteers fight the blaze at Westminster Hall. While the thick stone walls provide a barrier, they drench the 14C oak roof timbers with water from the hoses. Westminster Hall, Palace of Westminster
1834/10/17 Delayed from moving upriver before 2am due to the low tide, the London Fire Engine Establishment's great, floating, barge mounted fire engine begins to bring the fire under control and ultimately saves Westminster Hall. Westminster Hall, Palace of Westminster
1834/10/21 Having extinguished the last embers, fire crews finally leave the Palace of Westminster site.
1835/02/00 By February, temporary chambers and committee rooms are available for occupation and a government competition commences to design a new Houses of Parliament on the ruined site. Palace of Westminster, London

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