The Palace of Westminster, The Speaker’s House

The Palace of Westminster, The Speaker’s House, London.

The Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. As such the building is commonly referred to as ‘The Houses of Parliament’. The current Palace was designed by the architect Sir Charles Barry after an earlier building was ravaged by fire in 1834.

The Speaker of the House of Commons is the presiding officer of the House of Commons. Becoming politically neutral upon election, the Speaker is responsible for keeping order in the house of commons during debates and also represents the commons to the monarchy and in state proceedings. As recognition of the importance of this historical role the Speaker is given use of Speaker’s House, a set of grace and favour apartments in the Palace of Westminster, during their tenure. There is a private apartment in which the speaker and their family live and a set of spectacular state apartments for entertaining and receiving distinguished guests.

The Speaker’s State Bed & Chamber

The Speaker’s State Bed is situated in the State Bedroom and was originally intended for the monarch to sleep in on the night before the Coronation. This is a state room often used for receptions and entertaining, with the grand state bed acting as focal point.

Humphries Weaving created a silk and linen Brocatelle in geranium and gold and also a plain geranium lustring, both used for hangings on State Bed and upholstery for two prie-dieus. A sample of the geranium lustring also forms part of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, textile collection.

The Cavendish Damask is a Pugin design which was redrawn at the Humphries Weaving studio, the Loom on which it was woven had to be specially commissioned and built to accommodate the scale of the design.

Project references: 563 / 517

Silk and wool crimson damask in the same design as the bed for the wall coverings and window drapes of the State Bed Room.

Project reference: 683

Humphries Weaving have also woven a further replacement plain geranium lustring for the State bed counterpane.

Project reference: 1409

The Speaker’s State Dining Room

The State Dining Room plays host to formal receptions and is a grand entertaining space.

A silk and linen Brocatelle in crimson and gold used for curtains in the State Dining Room. The Pugin design differs from that on the state bed but is in keeping with with Gothic Revival style of the dining room including a set of Pugin designed dining chairs.

Project reference: 1287


The Speaker’s Private Dining Room

The Speaker’s Private Dining Room is located in the family apartments and is not used for official business and therefore rarely photographed.

As this room forms part of the private apartments it is highly likely that the interior decoration will be revised when each new speaker is appointed.

Cotton and worsted damask in beige and gold for the restoration of  the Speaker’s private dining room window drapes.

Project reference: 1279

The Speaker’s State Apartment Furniture

The Speaker’s State Apartment furniture restoration.

All cotton damask in a Pugin design taken from the State Bed decoration, woven in light gold for furniture upholstery.

Project reference: 931

The upholstery on this furniture was later replaced, in the same design but woven in an all cotton crimson.

Project reference: 1800

The Speaker’s Cloisters and Library furniture

The Speaker’s Library Cloisters and Library furniture upholstery.

The same all cotton damask construction and design is used for the furniture upholstery in both spaces but in different colours to create a subtle point of difference.

The cloisters furniture is in pale pink and cream whilst the furniture for the library is in gold and cream.

Project reference Clositers: 1293, Library: 1295

Click here to explore our fabric used for The Queens Throne in The House of Lords, within the Palace of Westminster.