POI: 51.500900, -0.126900
Parliament Square is a square at the northwest end of the Palace of Westminster in London. It features a large open green area in the centre with trees to its west and it contains eleven statues of statesmen and other notable individuals. As well as being one of London's main tourist attractions, it is also the place where many demonstrations and protests have been held. The square is overlooked by various official buildings: legislature to the east (in the Houses of Parliament), executive offices to the north (on Whitehall), the judiciary to the west (the Supreme Court), and the church to the south (with Westminster Abbey).
LocationBuildings looking upon the square include the churches Westminster Abbey and St Margaret's, Westminster, the Middlesex Guildhall which is the seat of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, Government Offices Great George Street serving HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs, and Portcullis House. Roads that branch off the Parliament Square are St. Margaret Street (towards Millbank), Broad Sanctuary (towards Victoria Street), Great George Street (towards Birdcage Walk), Parliament Street (leading into Whitehall), and Bridge Street (leading onto Westminster Bridge).
HistoryParliament Square was laid out in 1868 in order to open up the space around the Palace of Westminster and improve traffic flow, and featured London's first traffic signals. A substantial amount of property had to be cleared from the site. The architect responsible was Sir Charles Barry. Its original features included the Buxton Memorial Fountain, which was removed in 1940 and placed in its present position in nearby Victoria Tower Gardens in 1957. In 1950 the square was redesigned by George Grey Wornum. The central garden of the square was transferred from the Parliamentary Estate to the control of the Greater London Authority by the Greater London Authority Act 1999. It has responsibility to light, cleanse, water, pave, and repair the garden, and has powers to make bylaws for the garden. The east side of the square, lying opposite one of the key entrances to the Palace of Westminster, has historically been a common site of protest against government action or inaction. On May Day 2000 the square was transformed into a giant allotment by a Reclaim the Streets guerrilla gardening action. Most recently, Brian Haw staged a continual protest there for several years, campaigning against British and American action in Iraq. Starting on 2 June 2001, Haw left his post only once, on 10 May 2004 - and then because he had been arrested on the charge of failing to leave the area during a security alert, and returned the following day when he was released. The disruption that Haw's protest is alleged to have caused led Parliament to insert a clause into the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 making it illegal to have protests in Parliament Square (or, indeed, in a large area reaching roughly half a mile in all directions) without first seeking... ... (English)
Nearby sights panorama
Ludgate Hill railway station (2093m)
Elephant & Castle tube station (2014m)
Princess's Theatre, London (1823m)
St Margaret's, Westminster (100m)
Middlesex Guildhall (105m)
HM Treasury (111m)
New Palace Yard (113m)
Outer London Defence Ring (118m)
Westminster tube station (132m)
Portcullis House (145m)