Skip to main content
Royal College of Music No.11 Cavendish Square Science Gallery London No.4 Hamilton Place One Birdcage Walk The Postal Museum Sadler’s Wells Horniman Museum and Gardens Houses of Parliament The Royal Institution of Great Britain 10-11 Carlton House Terrace ArcelorMittal Orbit RSA House British Library Two Temple Place The National Gallery Chiswick House and Gardens Goldsmiths' Centre, The Somerset House Sir John Soane's Museum Swan at Shakespeare’s Globe Science Museum Royal Opera House Royal Museums Greenwich The Royal Institute of British Architects Royal Hospital Chelsea Whitechapel Gallery Royal Horticultural Halls Westminster Abbey Wellington Arch Royal Geographical Society Wellcome Collection Venue Hire Wallace Collection Royal College of Physicians Royal Albert Hall Victoria and Albert Museum Twickenham Stadium Royal Air Force Museum Trinity House Royal Academy of Arts Tower of London Tower Bridge Old Royal Naval College Tate Modern Tate Britain Syon Park St Paul's Cathedral St Martin-in-the-Fields Southwark Cathedral Spencer House Natural History Museum National Theatre Museum of the Order of St. John Museum of London Museum of Brands The Honourable Society of The Middle Temple Madame Tussauds LSO St Luke's Lord's Cricket Ground London Zoo (ZSL) London Transport Museum London Museum of Water & Steam Leighton House Museum Kew Gardens Kensington Palace Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn HMS Belfast Harrow School Hampton Court Palace Guildhall Garden Museum Foundling Museum Dulwich Picture Gallery the Design Museum Cutty Sark BFI IMAX BAFTA 195 Piccadilly Banqueting House Churchill War Rooms Central Hall Westminster Freemasons’ Hall Spitalfields Venue

Beautiful Rooms - The Great Hall, Hampton Court Palace

Thursday, November 18, 2021 - 09:15

The Great Hall sits at the very heart of the Tudor palace, towering over the surrounding buildings. It was designed to impress and to proclaim Henry VIII’s power and magnificence.

On the walls of the Great Hall hang a series of tapestries which were probably commissioned by Henry VIII and were certainly first hung in the Great Hall in 1546.

Image credit: Rhubarb Food Design

Great halls were places for eating and for entertaining. On a day-to-day basis, this Great Hall acted as a large refectory for the lower-ranking members of the royal household and servants. Meals cooked in the nearby great kitchens were served here twice a day.

On special occasions the Great Hall was used for plays, dances, and masques. James I's court spent Christmas and New Year 1603-4 at Hampton Court to escape an outbreak of plague in London. During the festive celebrations William Shakespeare and his company of players performed A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Great Hall.

By the early 1700s the Great Hall had stopped being used for dining and instead a permanent theatre was built into the space. It included a stage with tiers of raked seating for the audience.

The theatre was removed in 1800 by the architect James Wyatt who attempted to restore the Great Hall to its Tudor glory.

For further details on holding an event in The Great Hall at Hampton Court Palace please contact: