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- Banqueting House
- Alt Name:
- Whitehall Palace
- United Kingdom
- English Civil War
- 1600AD - 1699AD
- Charles I of England
- Hampton Court Palace, The Tower of London,
Houses of Parliament, Ashby Castle,
about Banqueting House
The Banqueting House in Whitehall, near Horseguards Parade, is the only complete building of the Palace of Whitehall to remain standing. The original Palace of Whitehall was acquired from Cardinal Wolsey by Henry VIII and was a royal residence until James I came to the throne in 1603.
The Banqueting House was built for state occasions and, after the installation of grand ceiling panels, the Banqueting House became a reception area for greeting foreign dignitaries.
On 30 January 1649, many spectators gathered to watch the beheading of King Charles I on the balcony of the Banqueting House. A service is held at the Banqueting House every year in January to commemorate this event and visitors can still see the scaffold stage on which the monarch died.
From 1654 until 1658, the Palace of Whitehall was the home of the revolutionary and statesman, Oliver Cromwell. After the restoration of King Charles II to the throne in 1660, the Palace of Whitehall once again became the royal residence and the Banqueting House once again was used for its original purpose.
In 1698, a huge fire burned Whitehall Palace to the ground. Sir Christopher Wren was commissioned to convert the Banqueting House into a chapel to replace the one destroyed in the fire.
Visitors can tour Banqueting House and discover its history. An entry ticket includes an audio guide, available in a variety of languages.
Just as empires rise and fall so do entry fees and opening hours! While we work as hard as we can to ensure the information provided here about Banqueting House is as accurate as possible, the changing nature of certain elements mean we can't absolutely guarantee that these details won't become a thing of the past. If you know of any information on this page that needs updating you can add a comment above or now.
Address: Whitehall Palace, Whitehall, London, SW1A 2ER
Phone: 0844 482 7777 (from UK)
The Banqueting House is located on the Victoria Embankment in central London along Whitehall. The nearest stations, just north of the site, are Embankment Tube Station (Bakerloo, Circle, District and Northern lines) and Charing Cross (National Rail and Bakerloo and Northern lines). However, there are many other nearby tube stations. Buses 3, 11, 12, 24, 53, 77A, 88 and 159.
Banqueting House is open Mondays to Saturdays, 10am-5pm. Closed on Bank Holidays and 24 December - 1 January inclusive. Sometimes closes on short notice for functions, so check the website or call in advance if travelling a long distance. Admission costs £4.80 per adult and is free for under 16s. Discount rate of £4 available for full-time students and those aged over 60 with valid ID. Group rates available.
There is no cafe nor food/drink facilities. However, Banqueting House is very centrally located and there are numerous cafes/shops nearby. Parking is very restricted and it is within London's Congestion Charge zone.
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