Photo: Rev Stan

Situated in Whitehall, at the back of Horse Guards Parade, stands the splendid Banqueting House, the only complete building of the old Whitehall Palace to have survived.

Whitehall Palace was built on the site of the London residence of the Archbishops of York, and was acquired by Henry VIII from Cardinal Wolsey in 1530. From this time, until the reign of James II, the Whitehall Palace became the monarch’s main residence. Henry extended and enhanced Whitehall, making it the largest palace in Europe.

Originally built for occasions of state, the Banqueting House saw many plays performed within, grand balls and masques staged, as well as traditional banquets laid out for important guests. With the installation of the ceiling panels, the primary function of the building changed, and it became a reception hall to receive foreign ambassadors and visiting dignitaries. This culture continues in the present day, with the Banqueting House remaining as one of the finest venues in London for both royal and high society functions.

 

The Banqueting House, Whitehall, London, SW1A 2ER
Tel: +44 (0)20 3166 6000
Times: Monday – Saturday, 10:00 – 17:00