Banqueting House architecture


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The Banqueting House, Inigo Jones's masterpiece of classical architecture, is one of the first examples of the principles of Palladianism being applied to an English building. It marks the beginning of a revolution in British architecture.

Recreating ancient Rome in London

Having travelled to Italy and seen the buildings of the ancient world and the Italian Renaissance, Inigo Jones decided to recreate something of their effect in rainy London, for King James I Jones was fascinated by the order and logic of classical buildings, and by the style, shape and colour of classical architectural ornament.

He made detailed drawings and notes, recording his observations on the ruins, palaces and churches he visited on his travels. Later, many of these shaped his own designs for buildings and masque scenery.

Jones intended the Banqueting House to look like a piece of ancient Rome transposed to Whitehall and the effect was extraordinary.

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.

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Banqueting House

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Exterior of Banqueting House with Whitehall in the foreground under a blue, partially cloudy sky
Things to see

Walk in the footsteps of the condemned King and stand on the spot of Charles I's execution, just outside Banqueting House.

Open daily

Banqueting House

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Still from the Gigapixel app at Banqueting House, which displays the Rubens ceiling in super close-up detail using new Gigapixel super-zoom technology. Showing close-up of The Apotheosis of James I
Things to see

Get an artists' eye view of Rubens' ceiling, down to the level of individual brush strokes added during its creation in the 17th century.


Banqueting House

Included in palace admission (members go free)

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

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

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