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  • Admire the Old Royal Naval College

    Admire the Old Royal Naval College

    Admire the Old Royal Naval College
    Sir Christopher Wren's riverside masterpiece

    Take a wander through the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College and see the poshest pensioners home that ever was. The Royal Hospital for Seaman, as it was originally named, was built in the first half of the 18th century and was designed by Christopher Wren and a number of other distinguished architects.

    It was a retirement home for sailors from the Royal Navy and some of the early inhabitants included veterans of Nelson’s fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar.

    The buildings are still used today by the University of Greenwich and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and if you visit during term time you can hear the students practising – it’s a beautiful noise!

    Make sure you visit the fabulous Painted Hall and the Chapel. The Painted Hall used to be the pensioners dining hall, but it’s hard to imagine them working their way through their boiled beef underneath the gloriously detailed ceiling.

    It took James Thornhill 19 years to decorate the ceiling and the walls and you’ll be able to see why when you visit. Look out for him in the painting – he put himself in the picture with his hand out because he hadn’t been paid properly.

    The Chapel, just opposite the Painted Hall is a neo-classical beauty and has one the finest eighteenth century interiors in existence. There are frequent concerts and recitals, so keep your ears open when you visit!