Chapel, Banqueting Hall & Family Room

Chapel, Banqueting Hall & Family Room

A flight of steps leads down from the parapet to the serving area outside the kitchen, with a view down to the room called the ‘Chapel and the ‘Banqueting Hall’ beneath it. When the Castle was first built, it is likely that what is now the ‘Chapel’ was in fact originally the Banqueting Hall: it is the largest of the principal rooms, occupying the whole floor at this level, and has the finest architectural treatment, with pointed arches on three walls. This was where the household gathered for Mass said in Latin.

The Banqueting Hall was the heart of the social life of the Castle: feasting was a way of life, combining dinner with a whole night’s entertainment.

The family room focal point is the fireplace on the north wall which is enormous and flanked by cut stone tablets and a mantle shelf running the full width of the room. On the south wall opposite is a rare fragment of early 17th-century plasterwork, the remains of a frieze that would once have decorated the walls of this room.