The inside of the grand Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich.

Book Tickets Online

About

The Painted Hall is a true masterpiece, boasting one of the most spectacular Baroque interiors in Europe. The extraordinary ceiling and wall decorations were conceived and executed by British artist Sir James Thornhill.

The epic painting scheme, known as ‘Britain’s Sistine Chapel’ took nineteen years from the start of the commission to its completion in 1726. By turns extravagant, playful, thoughtful, naïve and politically shrewd, Thornhill’s scheme earned him a knighthood and payment of £6,685.

The grandeur of Thornhill's composition, which covers 40,000 square feet, reflects the importance of the new Royal Hospital’s main Hall. Originally intended as a grand dining room for the naval pensioners, it soon became a ceremonial space open to paying visitors and reserved for special functions. Perhaps the most significant of which was the lying-in-state of Lord Nelson in January 1806, drawing large crowds to view the hero’s body. The exact spot where the coffin lay is marked by a plaque on the floor.

For a hundred years from 1824 the Hall was given over to the first National Gallery of Naval Art, before becoming home to the Royal Naval College in 1869 after the last Greenwich Pensioners left the site. From 1937 to 1997 the Painted Hall functioned as a dining space for trainee officers of the Royal Navy.

In 2019, after an £8.5m restoration project to clean and conserve the magnificent 17th Century paintings, the Painted Hall was reopened to the public.

Book Tickets

Facilities

Accessibility

  • Assistance dogs welcome
  • British Sign Language
  • Disabled access
  • Disabled toilets
  • Ear defenders available
  • Facilities for hearing impaired
  • Facilities for visually impaired
  • Video/virtual tours
  • Wheelchairs available - Manual wheelchairs are available to hire from the Tourist Information Centre in the Visitor Centre open 10am–5pm. These are allocated on a first come, first served basis. There is a deposit of £50 which is refunded when the wheelchair is returned. For further information please call 020 830 55235 or email tic@visitgreenwich.org.uk.

Booking & Payment Details

  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)
  • Currency Exchange - Available at the Tourist Information Centre in the Visitor Centre, open 10am–5pm. For further information please call 020 830 55235 or email tic@visitgreenwich.org.uk.

Catering

  • On-site catering
  • On-site light refreshments
  • Picnic site

Children

  • Baby changing facilities
  • Children welcome

COVID-19 Response

  • 1m distancing in place
  • 2m distancing in place
  • Capacity limit - Tours are currently limited to 5 people.
  • Clear signage
  • Contactless payment only
  • COVID-19 measures in place
  • Deep cleaning between visitors
  • Face mask essential (not provided) - It will not be mandatory for visitors to wear masks in outdoor spaces, however visitors taking a tour, entering the Painted Hall and/or Visitor Centre must wear a mask or face covering for the duration of that part of the visit.
  • Face masks required for staff in public areas - All visitor-facing staff and volunteers will be issued with a plastic face shield.
  • Hand sanitizer available to visitors & staff
  • Hygiene screens in place
  • One way system
  • Online booking possible
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas

Groups

  • Coach parking - If you are travelling by coach, there is a coach drop off point in Stockwell Street (SE10 9JN) which is a 10 minute walk to the grounds. There is free coach parking on Norman Road (SE10) and Charlton Way (SE3) or paid coach parking on Park Row/Romney Road (SE10 9NL).
  • Drop Off Point - If you are travelling by coach, there is a coach drop off point in Stockwell Street (SE10 9JN) which is a 10 minute walk to the grounds. There is free coach parking on Norman Road (SE10) and Charlton Way (SE3) or paid coach parking on Park Row/Romney Road (SE10 9NL).
  • Guided tours for groups

Languages

  • French signs/guides
  • German signs/guides
  • Italian signs/guides
  • Spanish signs/guides

Parking

  • Parking with charge - Please note that there is limited parking in Greenwich, particularly at weekends and we encourage you to use public transport if possible. Paid car parking is available in Park Row (SE10 9NL) and Cutty Sark Gardens.

Property Facilities

  • Gift shop
  • Onsite Catering
  • Public toilets
  • Smoking not allowed
  • WiFi or internet access - Free WiFi is available at the Tourist Information Centre in the Visitor Centre.

Target Markets

  • Accepts groups
  • Coach parties accepted
  • Single sex groups welcomed

TripAdvisor

Map & Directions

The Painted Hall

Type:Sightseeing Attraction

King William Walk, Greenwich, London, SE10 9NN
Close window

Call direct on:

Tel+44 (0)20 8269 4799

Check availability for The Painted Hall (opens in a new window)

Awards

  • Visit BritainWe're Good to Go We're Good to Go 2021
  • Other AwardsVisit Greenwich Partner Visit Greenwich Partner 2021
  • Regional and MiscellaneousWTTC Safe Travels WTTC Safe Travels 2021

Opening Times

Season (1 Jan 2021 - 31 Dec 2021)
DayTimes
Monday - Sunday10:00 - 17:00
Bank Holiday10:00 - 17:00

* Closed on 25th and 26th December.

What's Nearby

  1. The Old Royal Naval College is Sir Christopher Wren's riverside masterpiece: a British…

    0.02 miles away
  2. With access to the Old Royal Naval College's jaw-dropping Painted Hall, a climb up The…

    0.03 miles away
  3. Part of the Old Royal Naval College, the Chapel of St Peter and St Paul is a beautiful…

    0.04 miles away
  4. Discover epic stories of exploration and endeavour that have shaped our world at the…

    0.12 miles away
  1. Visit The Queen’s House in Greenwich, London. Home to an internationally renowned art…

    0.14 miles away
  2. Visit Cutty Sark, the fastest ship of its time. Now an award-winning visitor attraction…

    0.16 miles away
  3. The Greenwich Foot Tunnel runs beneath the river Thames between Island Gardens, on the…

    0.16 miles away
  4. St Alfege is the Anglican parish church in the centre of Greenwich. There has been a…

    0.24 miles away
  5. Greenwich Theatre is one of London’s premiere Off-West End theatres, presenting a…

    0.27 miles away
  6. The Fan Museum is the only museum in the UK devoted to the history of fans and the art of…

    0.29 miles away
  7. This charming riverside park holds the modern day view of Greenwich featured in…

    0.29 miles away
  8. Make the most of your day out with a Royal Museums Greenwich Day Pass and get access to…

    0.41 miles away
  9. Fly to the heart of the Sun, go to distant galaxies, see the birth of a star or land on…

    0.41 miles away
  10. Visit the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. Home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), the Prime…

    0.41 miles away
  11. Overlooking the River Thames and home to some of London’s most iconic views, Greenwich…

    0.52 miles away
  12. Madchute Park and Farm is located in a wonderful 32 acre site which is open to the public…

    0.66 miles away
Previous Next