Banqueting Hall

Explore James I's 'great hall', completed in 1622 as a venue for extravagant entertainment

Explore James I's 'great hall', completed in 1622 as a venue for extravagant entertainment

When

Open daily


Ticketing information


Included in palace admission (members go free)

Buy Banqueting House tickets

The Banqueting Hall was built for the performance of masques and for grand ambassadorial receptions.

William of Orange and his wife Mary Stuart were read the Bill of Rights in February 1689 in this room, before they jointly accepted the crown.

In 1698 the rest of Whitehall Palace burnt down, leaving only the Banqueting House.

A Chapel Royal

The hall was refurnished after the fire as the principal Chapel Royal. The altar was at the north end, and a royal pew was placed opposite at the south end, where the replica throne is today.

Even when the Chapel Royal moved to St James's Palace the hall was used for preaching and public ceremonies. In 1808 the room became a military chapel. Rich velvet swags hung between the pillars and pew boxes ran down the long sides of the hall. Up to 2,000 soldiers took part in a service.

The Museum

In 1895 Queen Victoria granted the building to the Royal United Services Institution to use as a museum. Cases full of military curiosities were crammed into the hall while banners hung from the ceiling.

A History of Royal Fashion

Free online course

Explore how British kings and queens have influenced fashion over 500 years in this free course created in partnership with Future Learn.

Vertical shot looking straight up at Rubens' Ceiling at Banqueting House Whitehall, London
Things to see Highlights

Marvel at Sir Peter Paul Rubens' ceiling in its original setting of Inigo Jones' spectacular Banqueting House.

Open daily

Banqueting House

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Arches lit by candlelight in the Undercroft of Banqueting House Whitehall, London
Things to see

Explore the vaulted drinking den beneath the Banqueting House, which was used by James I for decadent royal parties.

Open daily

Banqueting House

Included in palace admission (members go free)

04 February 2020

Tower of London

1 hour without an interval

Exterior of Banqueting House at night with Whitehall in the foreground under a clear sky.

Shop Banqueting House Gifts

Our wonderful collection of gifts and souvenirs are all inspired by the Banqueting House.

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Historic Royal Palaces retail product - light green and white crockery and stationary, a table setting.

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Exclusive English fine bone chine tea sets inspired by our historic royal palaces. Collect our traditional Palace china afternoon tea sets, with designs including elements from all our royal palaces.

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Food and drink category

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Feast your eyes on our wonderful selection of food inspired by our royal kitchen. Shop chocolates, preserves, jam, chocolate coins and the finest liqueurs.

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