CANCELLED – Mr Barry’s War: Rebuilding the Houses of Parliament
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO THE CURRENT SITUATION WITH THE COVID-19 VIRUS
Mr Barry’s War: Rebuilding the Houses of Parliament
A highly topical lecture, given the current arguments about the multi-billion pound restoration planned for Westminster! The Houses of Parliament is one of the most famous and staggering buildings in the world. It rises serenely from the Thames at Westminster, on a site which has been the centre of power and government in England from the earliest times. It is a masterpiece of Victorian architecture and a spectacular feat of civil engineering: but from the beginning, its design and construction were a battleground for its architect, Charles Barry. The practical challenges, even by the standards of Victorian invention, were immense. Battling the interference of MPs and royalty, coaxing and soothing the genius of his partner Pugin, fending off the mad schemes of a host of crackpot inventors and busybodies, and coming in three times over budget and twenty-four years behind schedule, this lecture will tell the story of how Charles Barry created the most famous building in Britain.
Dr Caroline Shenton is an archivist and historian. She was formerly Director of the Parliamentary Archives and a senior archivist at the National Archives, and a fellow of a number of learned societies. Her book The Day Parliament Burned Down won top prize at the inaugural Political Book Awards in 2013, and its sequel Mr Barry’s War, about the rebuilding of Parliament, was a book of the year for the Daily Telegraph and BBC History Magazine in 2016. She was Political Writer in Residence at Gladstone’s Library in 2017, and is currently working on her third book.