Reception Capacity 500
Seating Capacity 300


The Banqueting House we see today had two predecessors. Elizabeth I was wooed by her noble suitors in the first building, meant to be temporary, which was made of bricks, timber and canvas, with a ceiling beautifully painted with vines and fruit – all symbols of the hoped-for fecundity of a marriage which never materialised.

Despite its flimsy construction, this old banqueting house was much in demand from Elizabeth’s successor as a venue for masques.  James I and his wife Anne of Denmark loved this form of extravagant performance. Eventually James commissioned a more substantial hall from architect Robert Stickells. However, the King was disappointed with the building. Although very ornate, a forest of columns supporting a gallery blocked much of the audiences’ view.

His spectacular Banqueting House building was completed in 1622, to the King’s great delight and the astonishment of all who surveyed it.

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