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)

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)

MEMBERS
GO FREE
Fountain Court, looking west. The courtyard fountain can just be seen through an archway on the left.
Member only Tours and talks

Get an expert’s guide of what there is to see and do at each palace with one of our State Apartment Warders at Hampton Court.

4 July, 3 and 29 August, 27 September 2019

Hampton Court Palace

11:00 and 14:00

Free (advanced booking required)

Tankard, flask and goblet gift selection from Historic Royal Palaces Shop.

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

Shop afternoon tea gifts and accessories

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.

From £10.00

Historic Royal Palaces retail product - drinking glasses, books and deer cushion

Shop homewares

In our home section you will find stylish lifestyle home accessories and furnishings, including cushions, tapestries, ornaments and much more which will add those finishing touches to make your room complete.

From £9.99