The Original Westminster Palace, with Westminster Abbey in the background
This was not the same complex of buildings that today holds Britain’s Houses of Parliament. Edward the Confessor built a palace on the site (then known as Thorney Island) at the same time as commissioning Westminster Abbey. The Palace was at various times the primary royal residence until Henry VIII moved to the Palace of Whitehall, establishing the Parliament at Westminster. Most of the buildings were destroyed by fire in 1834, with only the Hall, the Jewel Tower, the cloisters and the crypt of St Stephen’s chapel surviving.