HC Deb 19 July 1883 vol 281 c1885

asked the First Commissioner of Works, If he is in a position to make any statement to the House with reference to the architectural treatment of the West front of Westminster Hall; whether any plans or elevations have been prepared for this work; and, if so, if he will be good enough to place them in the Library of the House; and, in the event of no plans having been prepared, if he will undertake that no contract shall be signed, or works undertaken, until a reasonable opportunity shall have been afforded to the House of examining and criticizing the proposed plans?


Mr. Pearson, the eminent architect, in whose hands I have placed the restoration of all the west front of Westminster Hall has not as yet made any report upon it. He is engaged upon a careful examination of the building, and an investigation of all the old plans and drawings of the building which can be found. It is nearly certain that a cloister existed along the west side of the Hall and under the flying buttresses, and it may be desirable to replace this. I will undertake, however, that no building of such kind, or any other kind, will be commenced until the plans shall have been laid before the House, and an opportunity given of criticizing them; but this undertaking will not extend to the repair of the buttresses and of the walls of the building for which money has already been voted. This work will probably be begun, I will not say completed, during the Recess.