Banqueting House

Banqueting House
Banqueting House map location

Banqueting House address and telephone

Address:
Banqueting House is located at: Whitehall (opposite Horse Guards), Westminster,
London SW1A 2ER
England
Telephone:
You can contact Banqueting House on Work +44 (0) 203 166 6000
Website:
The Banqueting House website can be visited at www.hrp.org.uk

Banqueting House opening times and ticket price

Opening hours:
Banqueting House is open to the public from: Usually 10 AM to 5 PM (Mon-Sun), but it sometimes closes at 1 PM for special events – check their website to be sure; Last entry 30 mins before closing
Time required:
A typical visit to Banqueting House lasts 1 hour (approx)
Ticket cost:
The entry price for Banqueting House is: Adult price £6.60; Children free entry (under-16)
Visiting hours and admission charges are subject to change, and may not apply on public holidays. Always reconfirm entrance fees and whether it’s open to visitors before booking tickets and making plans to visit Banqueting House

How to get to Banqueting House

When visiting Banqueting House you can use the following:
Minicabs:
Find minicab and taxi firms near Banqueting House
Buses:
3, 11, 12, 24, 53, 87, 88, 159
London bus fares
Trains:
Charing Cross BKL NRN, Embankment BKL CRC DSC NRN, Westminster CRC DSC JUB
If you want to visit Banqueting House by train then the nearest underground station to Banqueting House is Westminster
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Rubens’ ceiling inside Banqueting HouseInside Banqueting House

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Craig’s London blog> Read Craig’s review of Banqueting House  Check out my London blog for a full review, with video

Banqueting House Easy to get to? Good for kids? Value for money? Worth a visit?203

Banqueting House was built by Inigo Jones in the early 17th-century, after a commission from James I. It was said to be truly unique—Britain’s first Renaissance building—and hated by practically everybody for a hundred years.

Inigo Jones, and Rubens’ ceiling

When Charles I came to the throne in 1625 he paid the famous Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens £3,000 to cover the ceiling in homage to his father. With magnificent decorations such as these, Banqueting House quickly became a favourite reception hall for meeting foreign dignitaries.

Unfortunately for Charles, when the English Civil War ended in the mid 17th-century, he was put to death on a scaffold outside the window. Several thousand people gathered in the street below to watch his execution.

Oliver Cromwell then moved in until his death in 1660, but with his demise came the return of the King – Charles II. He marched down Whitehall on the night of 29th May 1660, and took speeches on the very spot where his father met his maker.

A special service is still held yearly to commemorate the King’s execution.

History of Whitehall Palace

The last great event to be held at Banqueting House was after the exile of James II, when William of Orange was offered the English Crown. But when the newly crowned King and Queen chose to live at Kensington Palace instead, the House fell out of favour.

Four years after Queen Mary’s death, a great fire ripped through the building leaving just the Holbein Gates and House intact. Christopher Wren was commissioned to turn it into a private chapel, which it remained until 1890. The Holbein Gate was finally demolished in 1759.

The government reclaimed the building in 1962, and restored it to its former glory. It now serves its original purpose once more – as a reception hall for meeting foreign dignitaries.

 
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  • Fish – “It's worth a visit if you've got a special interest in it, but probably wouldn't interest the casual tourist. It's quite small and there's not a great deal to see -- we were in and out in under an hour. But most people only go to see one thing anyway -- the magnificent ceiling painted by rubens. This is defintely worth looking at, it is stunning. And the audio commentry does quite a good job of relaying the history of the place.”

If you like Banqueting House, then you might also like…

> Old Royal Naval College The Old Royal Naval College was designed by Christopher Wren as a home for injured sailors.
> Guildhall The Guildhall is the seat of municipal power in the City, and where the Lord Mayor is sworn in.
> Whitehall See the Horse Guards standing outside Banqueting House, and the Remembrance Day Parade.
> Mansion House Mansion House is in the heart of the City, and is the official home of the Lord Mayor of London.
 

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