HC Deb 09 July 1858 vol 151 cc1184-5

said, he wished to ask the noble Lord the First Commissioner of Works what arrangements he proposes to make for the architectural restoration of the Norman Chapel and adjacent Chambers in the White Tower of the Tower of London. The White Tower of the Tower of London, much as it had been disfigured by so-called restorations, was one of the most curious and perfect remains of the architecture of our forefathers, as it was one of the most interesting historical monuments in this or ally other country. Its most important feature was the domestic chapel of the earliest dynasty of Norman Kings, which, though small in dimensions, retained the characteristic features of the solid and magnificent Norman architecture, less mutilated either by man or by time than was to be found in any other structure. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth it was made a depository for records; but about ten years ago all the papers were removed to the new Record Office in Fetter Lane. On the same floor were two apartments—one the Council Chamber, in which Richard III. held his Council; and the other the Revenue Chamber of the Kings. At present these rooms were both filled with military stores, to secure the safe custody of which a door leading into the gallery of the Chapel had been bricked up. What was needed to be done to place all these apartments in a satisfactory condition was to remove the stores, to reopen this door, and to make a few alterations in the Chapel, all of which might be accomplished, he felt assured, for a few pounds. If more was done it might, probably, produce more harm than good; but, unless the measures which he had suggested were adopted, it was probable that in ten or twelve years the Chapel and these Chambers would fall into a state of dilapidation which could not easily be dealt with.


said, he could assure the hon. Gentleman that he was fully alive to the historical and architectural interest attached to the building in question; and in any future arrangements that might be contemplated he should hope that, in a true Conservative sense, everything would be done that was necessary to preserve the particular place alluded to. But for the present there was no intention on the part of the Government to make any alterations whatever in the existing state of the structure.