Maritime Greenwich, London

Old Naval College, Greenwich

Maritime Greenwich became a a World Heritage Site in 1997. Greenwich is part of Greater London, and and houses many remarkable buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. Sir Christopher Wren, Inigo Jones, Sir John Vanbrugh, Nicholas Hawksmoor and Joseph Kay all have important examples of their work here, which together make up the World Heritage Site. The Queen's House (by Inigo Jones) was the first Palladian building in England, the Old Royal Naval College was designed by Christopher Wren, The Park, laid out from an original design by André Le Nôtre, contains the Old Royal Observatory. In addition there are :- The Fan museum, The National Maritime Museum and the view from the General Wolfe statue at the top of Greenwich Park is a protected view out across London

Old Royal Naval College was commenced by Charles II, designed by architect John Webb. It was completed by Christopher Wren, Nicholas Hawksmoor and John Vanburgh as the Royal Hospital charity, under the patronage of William and Mary in 1694 to care for disabled and veteran sailors. Admiral Lord Nelson lay in state in its Painted Hall prior to his funeral. The hospital closed in 1869 and four years later became the Royal Naval a hospital for veteran sailors.

Cutty Sark. An original "tea clipper", she is the world’s only surviving extreme clipper, a class of sailing ship that was the highest development of the fast commercial clipper, with the majority of her hull fabric surviving from her original construction.

The Queen's House. The Palace of Placentia , which stood on the site of the Old Royal Naval College, was where both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I were born. The Queen's House, was begun in 1617, was the last addition to that palace. The Queens House today is part of the National Maritime Museum. Inigo Jones designed the Queen's House in 1616, introducing Palladian architecture to England. Of particular note is its Great Hall and Tulip Staircase.

St Alfege Church, a Grade I listed Hawksmoor church, stands on the spot where the Danes martyred St Alfege, an archbishop of Canterbury in 1012

The Royal Observatory stands on the Prime Meridian – Longitude 0° - you can place one foot in the eastern hemisphere and the other in the western and you can check your watch against Greenwich Mean Time. Read more about it on the Royal Observatory site

Canaletto painting of Greenwich

Greenwich, London

The main buildings have not changed a lot since Canaletto painted them almost three hundred years ago.

Royal Observatory, Greenwich


Historically, anyone attacking London from Europe had to come by land over Blackheath or past Greenwich by river.

Greenwich was merely an outpost to London for the Romans, which they captured in AD 43. Roman relics dug up in Greenwich in 1902 are believed to have come from an isolated temple on the way to their base at Londinium.

The Saxon settlement at Greenwich dates from the 10 th century, when the Saxon King Edgar gave his property in Greenwich to the Abbey of Ghent.

The came the Danes who in 1011 kidnapped Archbishop Alfege from Canterbury . However the ransom was not paid, and they they murdered him – on the spot that Hawksmoor's Church of St Alfege.

In 1433, Greenwich was Crown Land. The abbey on the site of the present Royal Naval College had become Bella Court , home of Henry V's brother, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester. The Duke also built a fortress on the hill, where the Royal Observatory now stands, in his enclosed park.

After the Duke of Gloucester died in 1447, Bella Court was given to Henry VI's wife, Margaret of Anjou.In 1500, Henry VII created the spectacular Greenwich Palace, an enormous castellated residence that would dominated the river for 160 years.

In 1514, Henry VIII launched the Henri Grace à Dieu, at Woolwich. She was the largest warship that England had possessed. The powerful navy meant that no enemy would ever attack London again by sea.

1806 The funeral of Lord Nelson, after his victory over the French at Trafalgar. On Christmas Day 1805 his body was carried ashore at Greenwich Hospital, and had a three-day lying-in-state in the Painted Hall.

Greenwich Royal Observatory

Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site

National Maritime Museum

Greenwich Royal Observatory

Greenwich - Wikipedia

Cutty Sark


World Heritage Sites in Britain