The Houses of Parliament are selling off thousands of original decorated floor tiles, for up to £200 each. The tiles were ordered by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin in the 1840s for the Palace of Westminster, which was rebuilt in a neo-Gothic style after the fire that largely destroyed the building in 1834. Pugin was the co-architect and designer responsible for most of Parliament’s extravagant Gothic interiors. The tiles were made by the Minton factory in Stoke-upon-Trent.

Pugin was so delighted with the result that he wrote to Herbert Minton, saying that they were “the best tiles in the world”. However, the tiled floors eventually became very worn, from nearly two centuries of politicians’ shoes shuffling down the corridors of power. A major restoration project is now under way—hence the sale of worn tiles, which have been replaced. Read more