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A peek inside the history of Westminster Hall, where Queen Elizabeth lies in state

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As Queen Elizabeth II continues to lie in state ahead of her funeral on Monday, mourners gathering to pay their respects to the longest-reigning monarch in British history will do so inside a building that has borne witness to 900 years of monarchy, pageantry and tales straight from the history books – Westminster Hall.

And while it shares a name with the perhaps better-known Westminster Abbey where the queen was crowned, Westminster Hall has a history all of its own and is in fact nearly “the only part of the ancient Palace of Westminster which survives in almost its original form,” according to the British government. Read more: History of Balmoral: The castle where Queen Elizabeth II spent her last days Dating back to 1097, Westminster Hall was built by the son of William the Conquerer and spans more than 17,000 square feet.

At the time it was built, it was “by far the largest hall in England, and probably in Europe at that time,” the government’s heritage website states.

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