Banqueting House architecture

When

  • Open daily

Ticketing information

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Ancient Rome in Whitehall

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.

Having travelled to Italy and seen the buildings of the ancient world, Jones decided to recreate something of their effect in rainy London.

This was supposed to look like a piece of ancient Rome transposed to Whitehall and the effect was extraordinary.

The building was intended for masques, receptions and entertainments but when the painted ceiling by Peter Paul Rubens was installed in the main hall inside, it fell out of use. The smoke from candles during evening occasions began to damage the paintings, so the parties began to be held elsewhere instead.

This was a revolutionary building in terms of style, as well as being the setting of revolutionary events such as the execution of King Charles I.

Susanne Groom, curator

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)

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.

Daily

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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