Yes, it’s 179 years since the old Houses of Parliament burned down. Last year there was the very successful real-time tweet of the events of 16 October 1834 (you can still see the story as it unfolded on Twitter), and this year there are more treats to mark the anniversary.
Firstly, there’s a brand new page about the fire, launched today, on the History of Parliament website. This complements the other concise but very useful potted histories of key moments in the House of Commons and House of Lords there.
Then, at Westminster, there is an exhibition on the fire currently running in Portcullis House for Parliamentarians through the autumn. It was open to the public on Open House Weekend at the end of September. It was great fun curating it, and I’d like to thank the Curator’s office at Parliament for suggesting that I might like to do it. If you missed it, then don’t worry – you can find a free downloadable booklet and other resources relating to the paintings and drawings in our art collection which depict the 1834 fire on the Art in Parliament website.
If you’re in London there’s still time to come to the Open Lecture today in Parliament at 2.30pm, where I’ll be giving a free public talk on the fire. Do come and say hello if you’re there.
And remember, the Houses of Parliament shop has signed copies of the book now out in paperback (they make great Christmas presents) and you can even order them on online if you wish – I signed 100 of them a couple of weeks ago in just 15 minutes…
Finally, here are a couple of my favourite blogposts from the last year. I hope you enjoy them: