Long-Forgotten 17th Century Secret Passageway Found in British Parliament

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An exclusive walkway once used by royalty was rediscovered inside the landmark building, along with some graffiti from Victorian laborers. The entrance to a chamber leading to the 36 this find proves that in more ways than one!

Liz Hallam Smith, historical consultant to the building’s architecture team, said the secret passage was built especially for the coronation banquet of Charles II in 1661 and, for centuries, was used by lawmakers to access parliament. At some point, the passageway was forgotten about and, after World War Two, it covered over by wooden panels—until now.

“As we looked at the paneling closely, we realized there was a tiny brass keyhole that no one had really noticed before, believing it might just be an electricity cupboard. Once a key was made for it, the paneling opened up like a door into this secret entrance.” The discovery revealed 169-year-old graffiti from bricklayers, with one immortalizing his love of a good pint. The builder wrote: “This room was enclosed by Tom Porter who was very fond of Ould Ale.”

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