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London attractions: See where James I partied at the Banqueting House

Published: Monday 3rd of October 2011

People looking for London attractions with a lengthy royal history should not miss a trip to the Banqueting House while they are in the capital.

James I had The Undercroft designed as a drinking den for himself and his friends.

The vaulted undercroft of the Banqueting House made such an impact on poet Ben Jonson, that he wrote a dedication to the space in 1623.

"Since Bacchus, thou art father, of wines, to thee the rather, we dedicate this cellar, where now, thou art made dweller," composed Jonson.

After the death of James I, the undercroft began to be used for holding lotteries.

Art lovers visiting the famous building should head upstairs to experience the magnificent ceiling, painted by Peter Paul Rubens.

This renowned piece is the only surviving in-situ painting by the artist, and is believed to be one of the last sights Charles I saw before he was beheaded outside on a scaffold in 1649.

Get free entry to over 55 top London attractions with a London Pass.

Posted by Kevin Smith
 

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