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Old Royal Naval College: Queen Mary Court

Last major building on the site (1751). Original layout, timber panelling, barrel vaulting and Portland stone. Refurbished in 2000 by Dannatt Johnson for University of Greenwich.


Dannatt Johnson (refurb for University)



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 Mary 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 Mary’s Court was the last of the four Royal Naval Hospital buildings to be completed, following Christopher Wren’s layout, but designed and built by Thomas Ripley. The university has retained the historic layout throughout. The cabin walls have been stripped back to reveal original original timber panelling, barrel vaulting and Portland stone. The Chapel James Stuart, as Surveyor at the Royal Hospital for Seamen, was appointed to re-design the Chapel in 1781. He acquired his name following a visit to Athens when he became fascinated by ancient Greek architecture and design. The Chapel reflects these influences and Greek style and patterns are used throughout. Stuart left much of the work to his Clerks of Works, Robert Mylne and William Newton who deserve much of the credit for the way the Chapel looks. The Chapel is dedicated to St Peter and St Paul, both of whom have connections with water and the sea. The chapel is full of naval symbols, intended to remind the residents of the Royal Hospital for Seamen, who had to worship there daily, of their former lives. Features that merit a special mention include the vast altarpiece painting by Benjamin West, the Samuel Green organ (the only one of its kind to remain in situ) and the outstanding examples of craftsmanship, including numerous items made from Coade stone.