With the Houses of Parliament requiring costly renovation, new research suggests we may have something to learn from plans in the 1730s to rebuild the Palace of Westminster. Dr Frank Salmon, from the University of Cambridge’s Department of History of Art, has been researching plans created by William Kent, influential landscape gardener, designer and architect, who was commissioned in 1733 to design a more spacious and convenient “Edifice that may be made use of for the Reception of the Parliament.” Over the course of the next decade, Kent submitted a succession of plans ranging from a complete rebuild to a salvage operation. They came to nothing. But Kent’s legacy of 80 drawings, suggests art historian Dr Frank Salmon,
might in some respects represent the best Houses of Parliament the ‘Mother of all Parliaments’ never had.