Thorney Tales

 
Westminster Hall is celebrated for many things not least because it is still there at all.  It is the largest survivor of the original Palace of Westminster of which hardly anything remains - at least above ground - apart from the Jewel Tower. Although it has been modified since it was built in the late 1090s by King William II, known as "Rufus", its architectural grandeur remains intact and nowhere more so than in its hammer-beam roof.
 
It was started in 1393 and remains the largest hammer-beam roof in the world, having survived two world wars and the 1834 fire which destroyed nearly all of the rest of the parliamentary buildings. It is difficult to believe that William is said to have wanted it to be twice the size. Is it possible that his nickname "Rufus", supposedly because of his ruddy face, could actually have been a phonetic mistake for "Roofus"?