Travel Stories

Banqueting House

The Site Where Charles I Was Executed

When you stroll through the streets of London, history surrounds you with every step. For instance, if you walk from Whitehall's Horse Guards Parade through the arch, you will pass beneath the former office of the Duke of Wellington and the window from which the Queen Mother used to watch the annual Trooping the Color. Cross the street and you will be at Banqueting House, The Site Where Charles I Was Executed by Oliver Cromwell's men on January 30, 1649, on a scaffold built out from a first floor balcony ("first floor" in England means one floor above the ground floor). Turn around and look at the clock above the Horse Guards Building and you will see a black splotch behind the "2," set there to mark the dark hour of the king's beheading. Banqueting House is the only building in Whitehall to survive the Great Fire of 1666.