Point of Interest

The Supreme Court

England / Europe

In Parliament Square, the land the Supreme Court sits on today was originally Westminster Abbey’s Sanctuary Tower and Old Belfry. A place where fugitives would seek refuge from their pursuers on an island at the Tyburn and Thames. It then housed a courthouse before this was removed in 1889 to be replaced with the Middlesex Guildhall. The Guildhall was designed by James Gibson with extensive decorative work completed by Henry Fehr, built using Portland Stone and used as a County Council and Quarter Sessions for Middlesex. In 1964 the administrative and judicial area of Middlesex no longer existed and the Guildhall was converted in to a Crown Court during the 1980’s. The House of Lords advised the sovereign, passed laws and dispensed justice at the highest level for 600 years. However, in 2009 history was made in Britain with the transferring of judicial authority away from the House of Lords to a new independent Supreme Court. The Crown Court building thus became the home of the Supreme Court, the highest court in the United Kingdom. The renovation process began to create a modern court house with light and airy rooms but also restoring the beauty of the original detailing of the Guildhall. 

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