Banqueting House :: Visitors' Map of London :: A-Z Maps

Banqueting House

A jewel of a building set amongst ranks of government office blocks. Completed in 1622 this is the only surviving building of Whitehall Palace destroyed by fire in 1698. Commissioned by James I it represents, along with the Queen's House Greenwich designed three years earlier, the introduction of the Italian classical Palladian style into English architecture. Inigo Jones's design is a hall of double cube proportions incorporating a beautiful ceiling added by Rubens in 1630-36 (representing the Apotheosis of James I) and for which he received £3,000 and a knighthood from Charles I. Jones was not only the King's surveyor but also a famous masque designer, the hall being frequently the scene of courtly entertainments with Jones's scenery and costumes. From a window here, Charles I walked to the scaffold and his execution in 1649; at the restoration in 1660, Charles II received the Lords and Commons. Here also in 1689, William and Mary received their formal offer of the throne. Admission charge.

See Also: Whitehall - SW1, St James's Palace

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