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Venue Hire Guide

As a heritage building open to the public, the Garden Museum has a number of guidelines that you might not normally find in other venues. This is to help protect the venue and ensure that we can remain open to the public and share our wonderful collection. We’re sure that these guidelines will help improve your experience of hiring the venue and make your event a real success.

Venue Operations

  • Sunday-Friday: 17.00-00.00
  • Saturday: 16.00-00.00
  • An hour extension to 1am is possible for an additional fee of £500+VAT
  • All music and service of alcohol will cease half an hour before the licensed cut off time
  • All guests must vacate the venue by the licensed cut-off time
  • The Dan Pearson garden closes at 20:30 whilst the front garden remains open throughout the duration of your event
  • Capacities in Nave: 250 standing; 120 theatre style; 120 seated dinner
  • Capacities in Learning Classroom: 60 standing, 60 Theatre style, 40 seated dinner
  • Capacities in Café: 150 standing, 40 seated dinner

Event Management

  • Each event will be managed by an event manager supported by event stewards
  • The event manager is there to uphold the licence requirements; to keep the building in good repair; deal with any venue related issues that may occur; be available to take delivery of event supplier’s equipment and manage the venue’s staff
  • The event manager is not an events planner and cannot decorate the venue or set up your table decorations
  • The event manager will require a floor plan, running order seven days prior to your event

Audio Visual

  • DJs, bands and other entertainment must bring their own PA system
  • Amplified sound must be connected to our noise limiter that is set at 85db
  • The venue hire includes one microphone, one projector and one screen for presentations and speeches
  • DJs, bands and other entertainment can use the venue’s sound system with supervision from the events manager on duty
  • A mandatory sound technician, charged to the client, will operate for certain events
  • We can provide a lectern in the Nave
  • We are able to play music in the café area through our PA system. In the garden areas we only allow acoustic music performances
  • We have an in house PA system in the Clore Learning Space as well as projector and screen suitable for presentations and speeches
  • There is Wi-Fi available all throughout the venue


  • After the Museum closes you and your event suppliers (caterers, decorators, florists) will have access to the Museum
  • Guests and suppliers arriving earlier than this time will not be given access to the building
  • Certain deliveries can be made earlier. This needs to be discussed with the Venue Hire Manager for prior consent
  • The venue offers one hour breakdown time after guests have left, free of charge
  • Photography is allowed but in certain areas; permission for access needs to be discussed in advance with the Venue Hire Manager
  • The venue will ensure the Venue space is cleared of Museum furniture
  • Your caterers are responsible for bringing in events furniture and setting it up
  • All furniture must be lifted and not dragged to avoid damaging the floor
  • Nothing can be affixed to the walls without prior consent from the Venue Hire Manager


  • There is no guest parking at the venue; pay and display parking can be found in the area
  • The forecourt is available for suppliers to drop-off and pick-up only
  • The Museum requires supplier registration details at least two days before the event
  • Please do not park directly in front of the wooden door to Lambeth Palace as it is the only entrance and exit to the Palace

Damage and Insurance

  • A £1,000 damage deposit is required for all events which covers damage, loss or costs incurred by the venue. Please see our terms and conditions for full details
  • Public liability insurance of £5 million is required for all events and must be sent to the event team at least one month before the event date

Client’s responsibilities

  • No decorations are to be stuck, pinned, hung, stapled or taped to any fixture or furniture
  • No use of confetti, confetti or glitter cannons, smoke machines, helium balloons, rose petals or any naked flames
  • All cables running across floors must be made safe with rubber matting
  • Please do not wedge open any fire doors and keep all walk ways and fire exits clear
  • All flowers need to be cleared on the night itself and taken away with you


  • We operate an accredited list of caterers that the client must choose from. Catering by the client, a non-accredited supplier or family members is not permitted
  • Where a caterer is used, all rubbish and food waste must be removed from the venue at the end of your event and all areas, both front and back of house, must be fully cleaned and left in the state in which they were found
  • The Event Manager on duty will do a kitchen handover with the day time restaurant chefs and the evening reception chefs
  • Admission desk in the Nave has to be covered with suitable mats if operating a bar
  • All equipment in the kitchen can be used except the mixers, fridges and meat slicer
  • Caterers are not permitted to use the café bar or glass wash
  • Red wine, cranberry juice and Guinness can only be served at the table and not at standing receptions
  • Regarding DJ or band set-up for a wedding or any other evening reception with dancing, we suggest that guests leave the Nave for coffee and tea in the Dan Pearson garden space so the DJ can set-up and the caterers can remove the tables
  • Where clients are providing their own alcohol, the Museum will not accept delivery of this prior to the event or store it post-event. Arrangements should therefore be made with your chosen caterer to deliver it to and take it away from the venue


  •  50% non-refundable deposit is required immediately upon the Museum’s receipt of the signed contract
  • Balance payment is to be paid six weeks in advance of the event
  • Payment can be made by bank transfer only