Banqueting House is the last remaining section of the Whitehall Palace which was destroyed by fire in 1698. The building is widely acknowledged as the first classical building to be completed in the Palladio style and helped transform English architecture. Designed by Inigo Jones, building works began in 1619 and were completed 3 years later, at a cost of £15,618. The building was commissioned by James I, after fire had destroyed his original Banqueting House at Whitehall, which had only built ten years earlier. Ironically the building would be used to provide entertainment for, and later used as the place of execution of his son and heir, Charles I in January 1649.
One notable highlight of the building is the ceiling artwork. The ceiling canvasses of the Banqueting House were painted by Flemish artist Sir Peter Paul Rubens and members of his studio in Antwerp, before being shipped to London and installed March 1636.
It was used as a chapel until 1890. From 1896 until 1962 the Banquteing House was occupied by the Royal United Services Institute and used as a museum.
Today, Banqueting House is a national monument and a Grade I listed building now managed by Historic Royal Palaces. Banqueting House is open Monday to Saturday for sightseeing visits and is also available for private hire for all types of functions including conferences, dinners, concerts or as a wedding reception venue.
Banqueting House Address:
The Banqueting House
Tel: 0844 482 7777 (from UK)
Tel: +44 (0)20 3166 6000 (from outside the UK)