Public buildings

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Find places to visit in Britain by name, location, type of attraction, or other keyword.

This listings directory of over 950 entries is being phased out.
It now excludes places and things of interest in North East  and North West England.
These can be found in ABAB’s Places.
Places to visit in Yorkshire  are currently being moved to ABAB’s Places.

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HOUSES of PARLIAMENT

The Houses of Parliament is the home of the UK Parliament and consists of two 'houses' - the Commons (elected) and Lords (unelected). It is possible to take a tour, even take tea, or watch a debate. Information about visiting can be found on the UK Parliament's website - link below.

The Houses of Parliament is situated on the site of Edward the Confessor's 11th century palace and is still known as 'the Palace of Westminster'. It has been the traditional home of the English parliament since medieval times and much of the UK's parliamentary democracy developed here. However, most of the current building dates from the 19th century and was designed by Charles Barry, following a disastrous fire in 1834 that destroyed most of the old palace. The oldest building on the site is the magnificent Westminster Hall, which has witnessed 900 years of British history.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Westminster
County
London
Post Code
SW1A 0AA
Main Historic Period
Victorian
Tip/Nearby
Whitehall, Westminster Abbey, Churchill's Bunker, Embankment, St James's Park...
Primary Management
HM Government
LEADENHALL MARKET

Originally a fresh food market dating back to the 14th century, Leadenhall Market stands at the centre of what was Roman London. It was redeveloped into an ornate iron and glass arcade building in 1881 and, with its distinctive red, gold and green colour scheme it is a site in its own right. It contains a variety of pubs, cafes and restaurants, as well as several high-end specialist shops. Leadenhall Market famously featured in the film, 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Gracechurch Street
County
London
Post Code
EC3V 1LT
Main Historic Period
Victorian
Tip/Nearby
Bank, Monument
Primary Management
Local Authority
PETERBOROUGH GUILDHALL

Peterborough Guildhall is a notable feature of the pedestrianised Cathedral Square.  It was built between 1670-1 to celebrate the restoration of King Charles II. It is believed that the Guildhall replaced an earlier timber framed Moothall and Guildhall standing on the northern side of the square and that it is situated on or near the site of a covered ‘Butter Cross’, the town’s old dairy market. Its upper floor was in use for council meetings until the 1930s and currently houses electrical equipment.  It is not open to the public.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Cathedral Square
Peterborough
County
Cambridgeshire
Post Code
PE1 1XH
Main Historic Period
Stuart
Tip/Nearby
Cathedral, city centre
Primary Management
Local Authority
POWICK BRIDGE

Powick Bridge over the River Teme near Worcester was the scene of two battles of the so-called English Civil War (1642-1651). The first, known as the Battle of Powick Bridge, took place on 23 September 1642 and was the first significant engagement of the war. It was more of a noteworthy skirmish than a full-scale battle - a force of about 1,000 Royalist cavalry, well led by the 22-year old Prince Rupert, routed a similar-sized force of better-equipped Parliamentary cavalry under Colonel Nathaniel Fiennes.

A much larger engagement took place at Powick on 3 September 1651, as part of the more extensive Battle of Worcester – the last battle of the Civil War. The Royalist forces under Charles II were mainly Scottish and fighting was hand-to-hand. There is a memorial at the bridge which commemorates the “thousands of Scots, highland and lowland, who fought here far from home, so well and so bravely against insuperable odds and gave their lives in devoted loyalty to each other and to their leaders.” It was unveiled by Tam Dalyell MP on 2 September 2001. Worcester was a decisive victory for Oliver Cromwell and Parliament – the only downside for them was that Charles II evaded escape.

A water mill next to the bridge was converted to a combined steam/hydro-electric power station in 1894 - the world's first. Electricity generated from the power station met about 50% of Worcester's needs. It is now residential apartments.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Old Road
off Malvern Road
Powick Mill
Worcester
County
Worcestershire
Post Code
WR2 4BU
Main Historic Period
Stuart
Tip/Nearby
Limited parking
Primary Management
Local Authority

Scotland's Parliament was dissolved with the Act of Union between Scotland and England in 1707; there would be just one parliament, in Westminster. The Scotland Act of 1998 re-established a Scottish parliament, with certain devolved domestic powers, and it was decided that a new building was needed for it to meet in. The result was the Scottish Parliament Building, one of the most controversial government projects ever undertaken in the United Kingdom. Completion was more than three years late and, at a cost of £414.4 million, it was 10 times over budget. Many consider it ugly, at least externally, but it is interesting to visit and the debating chamber makes more sense than those at Westminster.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
The Royal Mile
Holyrood
Edinburgh
County
Lothian
Post Code
EH99 1SP
Main Historic Period
Modern
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Opposite the Palace of Holyrood
Primary Management
Local Authority
TARR STEPS

Late medieval, possibly earlier, clapper bridge over the river Barle - said to be the longest clapper bridge in Britain. Pleasant walks nearby.  Post code is for the nearby Tarr Steps Inn.

NB Post code is for nearby Tarr Steps Inn.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Nr Liscombe
County
Somerset
Post Code
TA22 9PY
Main Historic Period
Tudor
Link to featured article
Primary Management
National Park
Temple Bar

The original Temple Bar marked the boundary between the old City of London and the royal area of Westminster. A gate was built there, but this was removed in the 19th century for road widening. The spot is now marked by a Victorian memorial in the middle of the Strand/Fleet Street, close to the Royal Courts of Justice. Temple Bar Gate, after a period of decorating a country house in Hertfordshire, is now in the south-east corner of Paternoster Square, next to St Paul's Cathedral (EC4). The featured article will give you the full story, more or less.

Post code is approximate for the memorial at Temple Bar.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Strand/Fleet Street
County
London
Post Code
WC2R 1DA
Main Historic Period
Stuart
Link to featured article
Tip/Nearby
Strand/Fleet Street is on an old ceremonial route between the City and Westminsiter, with Trafalgar Square in the west and Ludgate Hill in the east, leading to St Paul's Cathedral.
Primary Management
Local Authority
Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge, often confused with London Bridge, is one of the capital's iconic landmarks, known all over the world. It was built between 1886 and 1894 and connects Southwark on the south bank of the Thames with Tower Hamlets on the north, on the eastern edge of the City of London close by the Tower of London. Visitors can tour the Victorian engine rooms, see an exhibition of the bridge's history and even cross a glass walkway 138 feet (42 metres) above the river. Private tours are also available. But of course you can simply look at it, or cross it, for nothing.  Visit its website to check out times when it will be raised.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Tower Bridge Road
County
London
Post Code
SE1 2UP
Main Historic Period
Victorian
Link to featured article
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Nearest tube stations - Tower Hill (north of the river), London Bridge (south). Handy for the Tower of London and HMS Belfast.
Primary Management
Other
TRINITY BRIDGE, Crowland

Trinity Bridge is a unique three-way medieval stone arch bridge in the centre of the small Lincolnshire town of Crowland, or Croyland.  It was built by the monks of Crowland Abbey between 1360 and 1390 and once spanned the confluence of the River Welland and a tributary, Cattewater or Cat’s Water.  The rivers were rerouted in the 17th century and the bridge now stands on dry ground near the market place.  The stone structure replaced previous wooden bridges, the earliest mention of which dates back to the reign of King Æthelbald of Mercia in 716 AD. It was also recorded in a charter of King Eadred in 943 AD.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
East Street
Crowland
County
Lincolnshire
Post Code
PE6 OGD
Main Historic Period
Medieval
Link to featured article
Tip/Nearby
Crowland is a historic small town. Its other main feature is the medieval abbey.
Primary Management
Local Authority
West Port, St Andrews

Said to be the best preserved city gate in Scotland, West Port was built in 1587 and renovated in 1843. St Andrews was never a walled city - more than anything, the gate is a mark of civic pride.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Junction of South Street and Bridge Street
St Andrews
County
Fife
Post Code
KY16 9EG
Main Historic Period
Tudor
Tip/Nearby
St Andrews Castle, Cathedral, Blackfriars Chapel, University Museum
Primary Management
Historic Scotland

If your favourite attraction is not listed yet, and you have a good quality digital photograph of it that you are able to freely send, please get in touch

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