A hidden history – discover the Lost Palace of Whitehall

A hidden history – discover the Lost Palace of Whitehall

06 June 2016

New visitor experience to open at Banqueting House this summer

‘The Lost Palace’ launches this summer 2016, a brand new visitor experience exploring the once magnificent Whitehall Palace. Beginning at Banqueting House, the only surviving building of what was once the largest palace in Europe, visitors will take to the streets of modern day Whitehall. Bespoke handheld devices, binaural 3D sound and haptic technology will guide visitors on a digital adventure to discover a hidden history. The Lost Palace is a pioneering project commissioned by Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity that cares for Banqueting House and five other royal palaces. Collaborating with Historic Royal Palaces, award winning designers Chomko & Rosier and theatre makers Uninvited Guests have developed an intriguing and stimulating visitor experience.

For over two centuries, the palace sprawled over the area now known as Whitehall, encompassing 1,500 rooms spread over 23 acres and Banqueting House was the jewel in its crown. The Palace of Whitehall was the largest royal residence for the Tudor and Stuart courts. Some of the most significant, history-defining moments in British history took place here. Through the magic of binaural sound, The Lost Palace will immerse families and adults in the world of the Tudor and Stuart courts. Visitors will experience some of the most exciting and intriguing moments from Whitehall Palace’s past.

At Horse Guards Parade, visitors can enjoy the jousts that so delighted Elizabeth I. Feel Charles I’s ragged heartbeat as he walks through St James’s Park on his final journey to Banqueting House for his execution. Encounter Guy Fawkes after his arrest for the Gunpowder plot and before his transfer to the Tower of London for torture and interrogation. Visitors can feel like a player in the first performance of King Lear or eavesdrop on the first fateful encounter between Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn before their doomed love affair began, all while exploring the historic streets.

Tim Powell, Digital Producer for Historic Royal Palaces, says “The history that happened in Whitehall Palace is extraordinary, but very few people know that these nation-changing events happened here. With The Lost Palace we want to take our visitors to the places where this history happened- and then, using new immersive technologies and brilliant storytelling, make them an active participant in it.”

“In collaboration with our creative partners Chomko & Rosier and Uninvited Guests, we’ve focused on how technology can stimulate the senses to create an emotional connection with the past. For example – whilst stood outside the Ministry of Defense building, Shakespeare’s King Lear is being premiered – and you are an actor on stage who needs to play their part in the performance. Or on Whitehall, whilst in the crowd at Charles I’s execution, you feel the king’s heartbeat in your hand during his final moments.”

“The Lost Palace is innovative in its approach to collaborating with creative partners and shows a huge leap in the use of digital technologies within a heritage environment.”

The Lost Palace runs from 21 July – 4 September during the day for families and with adult ‘lates’ Wednesday - Friday. Tickets are on sale today Monday 6 June 2016.

Adults - £12, Kids (7years and over) - £6

For more information or to register your interest visit www.hrp.org.uk/thelostpalace

Notes to Editors

For more information please contact Pauline Stobbs in the Historic Royal Palaces Press Office pauline.stobbs@hrp.org.uk or 020 3166 6340

The Banqueting House is the only remaining complete building of Whitehall Palace, the sovereign’s principal residence until 1698 when it was destroyed by fire. Designed by Inigo Jones for King James I, the Banqueting House was originally built for occasions of state, plays and masques. The magnificent ceiling paintings by Sir Peter Paul Rubens were commissioned by King Charles I to celebrate his father’s life, wise government and the divine right of kings. It has the only in-situ ceiling painting by Rubens in the world.

Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle. We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built. We raise all our own funds and depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers. With the exception of Hillsborough Castle, these palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Historic Royal Palaces cares for Hillsborough Castle under a separate contract with the Northern Ireland Office. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit www.hrp.org.uk

Chomko & Rosier is an experience design studio working between technology, architecture and art. They create interactive experiences, installations, products and infrastructures for the public realm. The London-based studio was founded in 2014 by Matthew Rosier and Jonathan Chomko, with backgrounds in architecture and interaction design informing their approach. Chomko & Rosier’s work has been installed nationally and internationally, and recognised as a Design of the Year by the London Design Museum. Their past clients include the UK Space Agency, Historic Royal Palaces, British Council, FutureEverything, Illuminating York, Watershed and Media Ambition Tokyo. For more information visit www.chomkorosier.com

Uninvited Guests create entertaining and provocative performance that combines high tech with low tech, the visceral with the virtual. The company works in various contexts, focusing on theatre but also producing interactive installation and audio walks. Uninvited Guests’ recent performances have blurred the line between theatre and social festivities, with audiences participating in events that are celebratory and critical of these times.

Formed in Bristol in 1998, the company has toured nationally (Royal Shakespeare Company, Southbank Centre, Battersea Arts Centre and Bristol Old Vic) and internationally (China, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Slovenia, Austria and Australia).

For the Lost Palace, Uninvited Guests will be collaborating with sound artist and composer Lewis Gibson.

Uninvited Guests’ work is produced by Fuel. For more information visit www.uninvited-guests.net 

Calvium build beautiful, intelligent apps for forward-thinking brands. Working closely with heritage, engineering and agency groups, we provide award-winning app development that drives customer engagement and boosts innovation in business.

For more information on Calvium, please call 0117 226 2000 or visit www.calvium.com

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