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Party at the Palace – the Best Historic Buildings for Venue Hire

July 21, 2022
Posted by clare

Have you ever dreamt of holding an event immersed in royal history or set within the walls of a heritage landmark?  For many people, the opportunity to drink, dine or exchange vows in a building with a rich story to tell, creates incredible memories and is high on their wish list.  In this guide, we bring you the best of these heritage spaces, all of which are listed in more detail on our venues page.

Blenheim Palace

World Heritage Site and seat of the Dukes of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace is a masterpiece of English baroque architecture, sitting in glorious Oxfordshire countryside less than a couple of hours from London.  With marquee sites in its extensive parkland to several jaw-dropping rooms within the Palace itself available for private hire, Blenheim is perfectly suited to those looking to impress.

Did you know?

Blenheim is the only non-royal, non-episcopal house in England to have the title of Palace.


Sitting in the heart of the City and home to the City of London Corporation since the middle ages, Guildhall’s magnificent Grade I listed architecture is steeped in history and atmosphere.  Designed to reflect the power of London and its leaders, Guildhall has also been the setting for state trials (most famously, that of Lady Jane Grey) and has events at its heart, having played host to the annual Lord Mayor’s banquet since 1502.  Guildhall is the perfect location for large events – its Great Hall (the largest of its many event spaces), can accommodate over 600 guests for dinner and 900 for a standing reception.

Did you know?

The Roman Amphitheatre was the first building constructed on the site of Guildhall and dates back to AD70.

St Paul’s Cathedral

The seat of the Bishop of London, St Paul’s Cathedral is one of the icons of the London skyline, thanks to its magnificent dome designed by Sir Christopher Wren. Larger events take place in the Crypt (the largest in Europe) with vaulted ceilings and stunning stonework providing a wonderful backdrop, whilst Nelson’s Chamber, located directly under the Dome adjacent to the Crypt, offers you and your guests the chance to mingle in an intimate space with the tomb of Admiral Lord Nelson at its centre. St Paul’s exudes history and spirituality, offering the chance to hold events at the heart of one of London’s most important places of worship.

Did you know?

The Dome at St Paul’s is one of the largest in the world at 366ft in height.

Two Temple Place

A neo-Gothic mansion overlooking the Thames, Two Temple Place has the feeling of a grand private home. Commissioned in the 1890’s by William Waldorf Astor upon his emigration to England from America, its interiors demonstrate the remarkable skill of the finest craftsmen of the time.  Mahogany panelling, lavish stained glass windows, gilding and marble combine with carvings of historical and romantic figures to create spaces filled with opulence and personality.  The Great Hall on the first floor is the jewel in the crown and makes the most stunning setting for dinners, receptions and celebrations.  Hire of Two Temple Place is for the entire building, ensuring total privacy and exclusivity.

Did you know?

Stained glass windows on either side of the Great Hall depict Sunrise and Sunset to reflect William Astor’s love of travel.

Historic Royal Palaces

The buildings cared for by HRP have the richest royal histories and are some of the most recognisable heritage buildings in the UK:

Banqueting House

Designed by Inigo Jones and with the most spectacular painted ceiling by Rubens, Banqueting House is the only surviving remnant of the Palace of Whitehall.  It has a rich history as a masquing house, a grand presence chamber and, famously, the location for the execution of Charles I.  If you are looking for a genuinely awe-inspiring, centrally located building in which to hold an event, look no further than this exquisite gem in SW1.

Did you know? 

The enormous main hall at Banqueting House has the exact dimensions of a double cube.

Hampton Court Palace

Famous for being King Henry VIII’s favourite summer residence, Hampton Court Palace, exudes a deep sense of royal history.  From the impressive Great Hall, designed to proclaim King Henry’s magnificence, to the miniature gem, Little Banqueting House – set in the Privy Garden and overlooking the Thames, Hampton Court Palace offers an unparalleled atmosphere that is truly absorbing and an unforgettable setting for events.  Perfect for those with a special interest in Tudor history.

Did you know?

Hampton Court was originally built by Cardinal  Thomas Wolsey who intended to use it as his own home but ultimately gave it to King Henry VIII.

Kensington Palace

The birthplace of Queen Victoria and the London home of several members of our Royal Family, Kensington Palace has long been a favourite with By Word of Mouth’s clients.  From the impressive grandeur of the State Apartments to the glass fronted Kensington Palace Pavilion, (replacing The Orangery until 2023), overlooking the famous Sunken Garden, the combination of exquisite art, fascinating exhibitions, regal architecture and flexible event spaces makes Kensington Palace an impressive events and wedding venue.

Tower of London

One of London’s most recognisable buildings and a World Heritage Site, the Tower of London sits proudly on the banks of the River Thames at Tower Hill.  It has been a royal residence, a prison and is, of course, home to the Crown Jewels.  The White Tower sits at the heart of the site and is the most famous of the cluster of buildings that sit within the fortified walls and moat.  Events take place within several spaces, including the White Tower, with large events accommodated by the New Armouries. A private tour, including the Crown Jewels and centuries-old Ceremony of the Keys makes a unique addition to an event at the Tower of London.

Did you know?

The Tower of London was the very first zoo in London.  From the 13th century up until 1835 it housed a variety of exotic animals (including an elephant and a polar bear), usually given as royal gifts.

Wellington Arch

With it’s location right at the centre of Hyde Park Corner, Wellington Arch offers a genuinely unique experience for guests.  Whilst it is of historic importance, having first been designed as an entrance gate to Buckingham Palace and later becoming a victory arch to proclaim Wellington’s defeat of Napoleon, it also offers extraordinary views from its balconies.  Guests can take a peep into the Queen’s garden and across towards the Houses of Parliament, London Eye and The Shard – an unforgettable experience.  Inside the Arch, event spaces are contemporary and spread across two floors with both seated dinners and receptions possible.

Did you know?

The magnificent sculpture sitting on top of Wellington Arch is the largest bronze sculpture in Europe.

Westminster Abbey

The site of Westminster Abbey was first populated by Benedictine monks in the mid tenth century.  Edward the Confessor built a new abbey on the site which was consecrated in 1065 and stood until 1245 when Henry III started to rebuild much of the Abbey in the new Gothic style.   Royal history is woven into the fabric of Westminster Abbey – it has hosted coronations, royal weddings and numerous state occasions across the centuries and is no stranger to hospitality.  For events, several atmospheric spaces enable you to immerse your guests in the Abbey’s history, from the monks’ Cellarium and the vaulted Cloisters to the beautiful gardens that create a stunning backdrop to summer events.

Did you know?

Westminster Abbey is home to Britain’s oldest door which dates from around 1050.

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