- The Civic Centre,
- Barras Bridge,
- Tyne and Wear,
- NE1 8QH
0191 277 7222
For more information email:
- What's on
- The Civic Centre
- Image gallery
- Contact us
The Banqueting Hall
The Banqueting Hall is a room of commanding proportions and scale, being 38 meters long by 14.4 meters wide, rising 6.8 meters through two floors in height with a balcony at the south end at first floor level. The Hall comfortably accommodates 580 people dining or 600-700 dancing, and has a Missanda hardwood floor fully sprung over the dancing area.
The Clipsham stone walls have deeply recessed tapering windows on either side. Below the windows the names of past Mayors, Lord Mayors and Sheriffs, and the Roll of Honorary Freeman are engraved, giving the Hall historic interest dating back to 1216.
Food service to the Banqueting Hall is through six deeply recessed stone arches to the east of the Hall, to which food is delivered from the fully equipped kitchens in the basement. A feature of these arches is the retractable cast aluminium grilles of varying design, by Geoffrey Clarke, ARCA.
A large tapestry designed by John Piper hangs on the North wall. Abstract in conception, the colours are drawn from the natural minerals and flora of Northumbria.
The Banqueting Hall ceiling consists of ten panels of Abura timber ribs interspersed between the windows, with red hide lined recesses, from which are suspended eight crystal chandeliers. The design of the ceiling contributes to the overall modern treatment of the Hall, imparting at the same time a strong affinity with the traditional character of Northumbria’s baronial halls.
The ceiling has been further enriched by the inclusion of the Armorial Bearings in heraldic colours of the Incorporated Companies of Freemen of the City and County of Newcastle upon Tyne. In 1215 King John granted a Charter to the society of Free Merchants, various other trades and crafts being organised into Guilds in 1342. These craft Guilds of the Middle Ages were in effect the equivalent of the modern Trade Unions. Of these Guilds or Companies the Arms of 48 are known and displayed on roundels attached to the timber ribs forming a dominant part of the ceiling.
© 2009 Newcastle City Council