The Horseshoe Staircase at the Queen's House

Queen's House Closure 3

Visitor Notice: On Tuesday 16 and Saturday 20 July certain areas of the Queen's House will be closed to the public for a private event. The rest of the house, including the iconic Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I, will be open as usual.

Essential information

Opening times: 
Open daily | 10am–5pm
Queen's House

Arrive like royalty at the Queen's House when you climb this unusual staircase, shaped like a horseshoe.

The staircase is located on the north side of the Queen's House, overlooking the River Thames. It was designed to take visitors arriving at ground level, straight up to the building's main floor. It's easy to imagine guests arriving by horse and carriage and excitedly climbing the stairs dressed in fancy costumes, ready for one of the masques that were given by Charles I and his French queen Henrietta Maria.

In keeping with architect Inigo Jones' Classical proportions for the Queen's House, the horseshoe staircase is neatly symmetrical. However, during archeological work in the late 1990s, it was discovered that the original 'footprint' of the horseshoe stairs was different, with a tighter, less formal curve.