Old Royal Naval College in London
The Old Royal Naval College is the architectural masterpiece of Maritime Greenwich, a World Heritage Site inside Greenwich, London, described by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as being of “outstanding universal value” and considered to be the “finest and most dramatically sited architectural and landscape ensemble in the British Isles”. The site is managed by the Greenwich Foundation for the Old Royal Naval College (Foundation), set up in July 1998 as a Registered Charity to “look after these magnificent buildings and their grounds for the benefit of the nation”. The grounds and some of its buildings are open to visitors. The buildings were originally constructed to serve as the Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich, now generally known as Greenwich Hospital, which was designed by Christopher Wren, and built between 1696 and 1712. The hospital closed in 1869. Between 1873 and 1998 it was the Royal Naval College, Greenwich.
The Old Royal Naval College (ORNC) is Sir Christopher Wren’s twin-domed riverside masterpiece and one of London’s most famous landmarks. The iconic buildings stand on the site of Greenwich Palace, Henry VIII’s favourite royal residence, and include the acclaimed Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre, magnificent Painted Hall and Chapel. Entry is free and the ORNC is open daily.
Explore over 500 years of history at the Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre, browse for design-led gifts, or enjoy a beer at The Old Brewery. See the Painted Hall where Admiral Lord Nelson lay in state after his death at the Battle of Trafalgar, experience the grand neo-classical Chapel or attend public events at the ORNC.
In 1873, four years after the hospital closed, the buildings was converted to a training establishment for the Royal Navy. The Royal Navy finally left the College in 1998 when the site passed into the hands of the Greenwich Foundation for the Old Royal Naval College.