Banqueting House Tickets
A grand architectural masterpiece that has been inspiring guests since 1636, the Banqueting House is the only remaining complete building of Whitehall Palace, the sovereign's principal residence from 1530 until 1698 when it was destroyed by fire.
Designed by Inigo Jones for James I (1603-25) and completed in 1622, the Banqueting House was originally built for occasions of state, plays and masques. The magnificent ceiling paintings by Sir Peter Paul Rubens, for which the building is renowned, were commissioned by James I's son, Charles I (1625-49) to celebrate his father's life and wise government and installed by 1636. The pavement outside the Banqueting House later became the scene of the only execution of an English monarch, that of Charles I on 30 January 1649.
After the fire that destroyed Whitehall Palace in 1698, the Banqueting House was used as a chapel until 1890 and from 1896 until 1962 it was occupied by the Royal United Services Institute and used as a museum.
Visitors can marvel at the Palladian splendour of the Main Hall and enter The Undercroft, originally a drinking den for James I, today it houses a small exhibition and video presentation. Free Audio Guides are available in French, English, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish and Japanese.
Please be aware that the Banqueting House may close at short notice for Government functions.
The Banqueting House
Open Monday to Saturday from 10am until 5pm.
Nearest Underground: Westminster
Nearest Rail: Charing Cross
Bus routes: 3, 11, 12, 24, 53, 77A, 88, 159
There are access restrictions for mobility-impaired visitors and wheelchair users. Access to the Main Hall is via a lift in an adjacent building. The lift is narrow and therefore a portable or standard size wheelchair is required.
Assistance dogs are welcomed. A Braille guide is available for visually-impaired visitors and induction loops are available for the hard of hearing. Please ask for these services on arrival.