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THE BANQUETING HOUSE

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The site of the banqueting house to Nonsuch Palace. It was constructed in 1538-46 and was situated on the highest point within Nonsuch Little Park. It was demolished in 1667. In the 19th century the retaining wall of the banqueting house platform was rebuilt as part of the areas conversion into an arboretum.

Excavations in 1930 and 1959-60 showed that the banqueting house resembled a Tudor artillery fort, situated on a raised platform and enclosed by a wall. The Parliamentary Survey of 1650 showed it to be a timber framed, two-storey building, surmounted by a lantern. An archaeological survey by RCHME field staff between 1993 and 1995 found only the octagonal bastioned platform surviving. Three mounds were identified which corresponded to the positions of three documented staircases, which ascended the platform on every side except the south-west. The brick wall which retained the platform is mostly a 19th century re-build, contemporary with the conversion to an arboretum, probably as an eyecatcher for the newly-built Ewell Castle House to the west.

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