Tours of Parliament Buildings
Parliament Buildings is one of the best known and most striking pieces of architecture in Northern Ireland. The architect Sir Arnold Thornely, who was knighted by King George V in recognition of his architectural work, designed the building with perfect symmetry and symbolism, such as the building being 365ft wide representing one foot for every day of the year; having six floors and six pillars at the entrance, one for each county in Northern Ireland.
Visit Parliament Buildings
In light of the public health situation, Parliament Buildings is closed to the public. No public tours, events or visitor activities will take place, until further notice.
However, Assembly business continues. Check the business diary for Plenary and Committee meetings.
You are welcome to come and visit Parliament Buildings Monday to Friday 9.00am to 4.00pm to view the Great Hall or visit the gift and coffee shop.
Typically guided tours occur twice daily, at 11.00am and 2.00pm. Please note that tour availability is subject to Assembly business and tours may be cancelled at short notice. Occasionally times may differ or tours may not be available on a particular day. If this is the case, updates will be displayed below:
Please note there will be no Public Tours of Parliament Buildings on Monday 16th March 2020
Tours are free of charge and there is no requirement to book. Upon receiving your visitor pass after entering the building via the front entrance you will be directed to the Great Hall where you will be met by your Assembly tour guide.
You can arrange a private tour of Parliament Buildings outside of the above mentioned times by contacting your local MLA.
Anyone who wishes to have a tour of Parliament Buildings and who requires assistance due to hearing or sight impairments can request that a sign language interpreter attends, ask for a braille tour script or for the provision of ‘Hearing Helpers’, however the Events Office will require advance notice and this can be done by telephone 028 905 21802 or by email [email protected]
Watch the tour
Parliament Buildings is home to the Northern Ireland Assembly, the legislative authority for Northern Ireland established under the terms of the Belfast Agreement 1998 (aka. the Good Friday Agreement).
The building was originally constructed to accommodate the newly formed Government of Northern Ireland, established under the Government of Ireland Act, 1921. The grounds of Stormont Estate (224 Acres at the time of purchase) cost approximately £20,000 and the cost of constructing Parliament Buildings came close to £1.7 million. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII, declared Parliament Buildings open on 16th November 1932 on behalf of King George V.
The building is designed in Greek Classical tradition, constructed by Stewart Partners Ltd under the guidance of architect Arnold Thornely, from Liverpool. He was a man who paid great attention to detail with many of the features in Parliament Buildings having symbolic reference. One example of this detail can be illustrated by the length of the building for it measures exactly 365 feet wide, representative of one foot for each day of the year. Arnold Thornely later received a Knighthood from George V in recognition of his architectural work.