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Old Royal Naval College: Queen Anne Court

Wren and Hawksmoor building, completed 1749 when Thomas Ripley built the pavilions facing the river. Highlights include council boardroom, grand staircase and restored Portland stonework. Refurbished in 2000 by Dannatt Johnson for University of Greenwich.


Wren & Hawksmoor/Dannatt Johnson (refurb)



Main entry West Gate (King William Walk), or East Gate (Park Row) and Romney Road crossing. Entry also from pier via Cutty Sark Gardens SE10 9NN

Sat/Sun hourly (10am to 3pm) ticketed tours only. Meet on Grand Square to collect tickets and start/finish tours. Max 20 per tour.

Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich

Greenwich, Maze Hill, Riverboat: Greenwich Pier

177, 180, 188, 199, 286, 000

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Old Royal Naval College – Queen Anne Court Originally planned as a hospital for retired seamen by Sir Christopher Wren the campus of the University of Greenwich is based on three spectacular Grade I baroque buildings; Queen Anne Court, Queen Mary Court and King William Court. In the 17th century Queen Mary decided that a naval hospital, one similar to the Chelsea Hospital for wounded soldiers, was required. Sir Christopher Wren, amongst other architects, was commissioned for the project. He chiefly used John Webb_s design for the King Charles block, which had already begun construction with the idea of forming a palace for King Charles II before funds were diverted. It was boarded up and left until the site was granted for use as the Royal Naval Hospital in 1694. The complex has become famous for being one of the best examples of baroque architecture in Britain. Queen Anne Court now houses the new headquarters of the University. It was begun in 1689 to mirror Webb_s King Charles Building but was not completed until c.1749 when Thomas Ripley built the end pavilions facing the river. The east front consists of 23 bays in Portland stone ashlar (dressed stone). The whole fa‡ade is rusticated with quintuple keystones above each window. Striking the viewer on approach is the arcaded central bay built by Hawksmoor in 1701-05. It_s pediment rests on the entablature supported by Corinthian columns and it projects forward from the low-pitched slated roof. The windows beneath it are deeply recessed. The end pavilions are of 3 storeys in comparison to the main part of the building, which is only 2. The third storeys of the pavilions end in a balustraded parapet. Here the entablature is also supported by the Corinthian order but in the form of pilasters. As the highest order of the classical orders these add even greater splendour to the building. The western part of the court remained a brick body until given its interior in 1712 and finally its stone fa‡ade in 1725. Inside highlights include the council boardroom and the basement of the early Stuart undercroft from the former Royal Palace of Placentia survives. Built in 1605-06 it simple with octagonal piers and chamfered ribs.