Old Royal Naval College – Greenwich – London

When I was staying in Greenwich recently, I couldn’t leave without seeing the Old Royal Naval College. This architectural stunner is the main feature of Maritime Greenwich, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has a dramatic presence on the banks of the River Thames.

It was beginning to get dark when I arrived and the soft lighting on the shadowy pillars and walkways gave the buildings an atmospheric golden glow. 

Originally designed as a hospital by renowned British architect Sir Christopher Wren in the 17th century, it became the naval college in 1873 and was entrusted to the Greenwich Foundation for the Old Royal Naval College (a Registered Charity) in 1998. 

Today the ORNC is a venue for events and exhibitions. Evidently music classes are also held here as I heard and then saw a group of flautists practicing in one of the rooms. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to take a look around inside as I visited too late in the evening, but from pictures on the internet it looks beautiful and ornate.

The Painted Hall, described as the grandest dining hall in Europe, is open to the public for free between 10am and 5pm every day (along with the chapel). With opulent painted ceilings and lavish interiors, this is the place where Horatio Nelson’s body was brought to lie in state in 1806, a few months following the Battle of Trafalgar. If you just want to appreciate these grand historic buildings from the outside, the grounds are open from 8am until 6pm. 

old naval college greenwich

old naval college greenwich

old naval college greenwich

old naval college greenwich

old naval college greenwich

old naval college greenwich

old naval college greenwich

old naval college greenwich

old naval college greenwich

old naval college greenwich

Old Royal Naval College

2 Cutty Sark Gardens

Greenwich

London

SE10 9NN

Have you been to Greenwich? Do you like visiting historic buildings like the Old Royal Naval College? 

4 Comments

    • November 21, 2013 / 11:01

      Really? We’ve had that film marked as a ‘wait until the DVD is out’ ha ha. Curious now though!

  1. November 11, 2013 / 17:59

    Such a gorgeous building. I’ve never been inside but walked around it years ago. One for my next London tourist weekend (it’s a long list, despite living there for ten years!).
    Lucy recently posted..A celebration of female travel pioneersMy Profile

    • November 21, 2013 / 11:00

      Me too, need to have a peek inside next time. I can imagine there’s always more to see in a place like London, even after living there for a decade. It’s so blimin huge!