Banqueting House

Banqueting House information

Location
London , United Kingdom
Address
Whitehall
SW1
Getting there
Tube: Westminster
More information
www.hrp.org.uk/BanquetingHouse
Prices
adult/child £5/free
Opening hours
10am-5pm
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This is the only surviving part of the Tudor Whitehall Palace (1532), which once stretched most of the way down Whitehall and burned down in 1698. Designed by Inigo Jones in 1622, Banqueting House was England’s first purely Renaissance building and looked like no other structure in the country at the time. Apparently, the English hated it for more than a century.

A bust outside commemorates 30 January 1649, when Charles I, accused of treason by Oliver Cromwell after the Civil War, was executed on a scaffold built against a 1st-floor window here. When the monarchy was reinstated with his son, Charles II, it inevitably became something of a royalist shrine. Look to the clock tower opposite at Horse Guards Parade. The number 2 (the time of the execution) is blacked out. In a huge, virtually unfurnished hall on the 1st floor there are nine ceiling panels painted by Peter Paul Rubens in 1635. They were commissioned by Charles I and celebrate the 'benefits of wise rule' and the Union of England and Scotland Act (1603).