Crystallographic faulting in zeolite structures affects both the catalytic and sorption properties, and can greatly complicate attempts at structural characterization. A near extreme example of stacking disorder is provided by zeolite beta, a large pore, high-silica zeolite that was first reported in 1967. We describe here the determination of the framework structure of zeolite beta, using primarily high-resolution electron microscopy, electron diffraction, computer-assisted modelling and powder X-ray diffraction. Zeolite beta can be regarded as a highly intergrown hybrid of two distinct, but closely related structures that both have fully three-dimensional pore systems with 12-rings as the minimum constricting apertures. One end member, polymorph A, forms an enantiomorphic pair, space group symmetries P4$_1$22 and P4$_3$22, with a = 1.25 nm, c = 2.66 nm. Polymorph B is achiral, space group C2/c with a = 1.76 nm, b = 1.78 nm, c = 1.44 nm, $\beta$ = 114.5$^\circ$. Both structures are constructed from the same centrosymmetric tertiary building unit (TBU), arranged in layers that, successively, interconnect in either a left- (L) or a right- (R) handed fashion. Polymorph A represents an uninterrupted sequence of RRRR... (or LLLL...) stacking. Polymorph B has an alternating RLRL... stacking sequence. The TBU has no intrinsic preference for either mode of connection, enabling both to occur with almost equal probability in zeolite beta, giving rise to a near random extent of interplanar stacking faults and, to a lesser extent, intraplanar defects terminated by hydroxyl groups. The faulting does not significantly affect the accessible pore volume, but influences the tortuosity of the pore connectivity along the c direction. The high stacking fault densities give rise to complex powder X-ray diffraction (PXD) patterns for zeolite beta materials that comprise both sharp and broad features. By exploiting recursive relations between possible stacking sequences, PXD patterns have been calculated as a function of faulting probability. Reasonable agreement with observed PXD profiles is observed for a ca. 60% faulting probability in the chiral stacking sequence, suggesting a slight preference for polymorph B. The framework building units observed in zeolite beta can also be used to construct other frameworks.