The Banqueting House Open Days

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The Banqueting House is an 18th-century Gothic folly which sits on the edge of the National Trust’s Gibside estate. It stands in the highest part of the park in a grassy clearing, looking down on an octagonal pool with views to the Derwent Valley and beyond.

The Banqueting House is one of several buildings added between 1730-60 to the remarkable landscape garden at Gibside for its owner, George Bowes. Designed by Daniel Garrett, a former assistant of Lord Burlington’s it is a perfect example of Garrett’s gift for Gothick design. The Banqueting House, with its bowed front and soaring pinnacles, is one of the most extraordinary, buildings of the style. Its interior decoration was as elaborate as the exterior, its ceiling and walls covered with an intricate papier maché design, for which the original architect’s sketch exists. Here the family and their guests would come for picnic meals, perhaps laid out as a surprise feast to be discovered in the course of a long tour of the grounds. Afterwards they might refresh themselves with music, or stroll on the lawn around the building, enjoying the view of the lake and the grand panorama beyond.

Venue: Gibside

The Banqueting House Open Days

Accessibility Information

There is no parking available at The Banqueting House and open day visitors should park in the free National Trust car park. It is then a 25 minute (1 mile) walk to the Banqueting House along a woodland track. Please wear stout footwear as the path climbs in places. This is the only way to reach The Banqueting House and the shuttle bus is no longer in operation. Due to the nature of its location, we’re sorry that this building may not be suitable for people with limited mobility. We do try to accommodate additional access needs where possible.