The Painted Hall (reopening 2019)


The Painted Hall is a striking baroque space designed by Sir Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor, and often described as the “finest dining hall in Europe”. It features spectacular wall and ceiling decoration by Sir James Thornhill, who lavished 19 years on this, his masterwork. The awe inspiring Painted Hall is available for evening hire and particularly suited to large gala dinners, awards dinners and drinks receptions.

The Painted Hall is currently closed as we prepare for an ambitious conservation project. From next spring visitors will have the opportunity to get up close to the vast lower hall ceiling via a special observation deck.
The space will then be available for private hire from late 2018 / early 2019.

A model day

Arriving by boat is an excellent way to start your event, setting the tone for an occasion to impress. With the pier leading right onto the site, your event will strike the perfect note from the very beginning, as you alight to take in the stunning view. You may like to welcome your guests at the King William Colonnade for a pre-dinner drinks reception surrounded by stunning views and arresting architecture. During the colder months, one of our atmospheric Undercrofts makes the perfect reception venue.

Your guests will be called to dinner and the big reveal – when they set eyes on the incredible Painted Hall for the first time. Here you will enjoy a meal befitting of the exquisite surroundings, delivered with impeccable service. Should you wish to have an after-dinner party, then the Queen Mary or King William Undercroft can host a bar and dancing.Whether you join us for dinner or for a drinks reception, we can help you get the most from your event; perhaps you would like an onsite guide on hand to offer an illuminating interpretation of the Thornhill paintings which adorn the hall. We can also suggest a variety of gifts or guidebooks to purchase as mementos for guests.

Need to Know:

  • The Painted Hall is open to the public from 10:00 am, 7 days a week. The earliest venue hire access to the Hall is 5pm. Should earlier access be required, this is strictly at the discretion of the Old Royal Naval College Management.
  • Ampersand is the contracted caterer for the Old Royal Naval College.
  • Not available for dry hire.
  • No naked flames, including candles.
  • Dancing is not permitted in the Painted Hall.
  • The maximum capacity for the Painted Hall is 398 guests, seated or standing.
Painted Hall
  • 398 Standing
  • 398 Dinner
  • 350 Theatre Style

Virtual Tour