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Brief description of site

Enclosed by fine railings, the landscaped grounds consist of a series of formal squares and gardens, with lawns crossed by paths, avenues of trees, ornamental fountains and lamp standards; a statue of George II stands in Grand Square.

Brief history of site

The Old Royal Naval College is on the site of what had been a royal palace from 1447, known as Placentia or the Palace of Pleasaunce, a favourite haunt of monarchs until 1688, when William and Mary chose Hampton Court as their palace. At Queen Mary's wish a naval hospital (almshouse) for seamen and their dependants was built here, designed by Christopher Wren. Although incomplete, the first pensioners arrived in 1705 and by 1814 there were over 2,700 residents. Numbers declined and the Hospital closed in 1869, the buildings taken over by the Royal Naval College in 1873 for officers' training. After the Royal Navy left Greenwich in 1998, responsibility for the Old Royal Naval College passed to the Greenwich Foundation.

Location information:

Address: Romney Road/King William Walk/Park Row, Greenwich, SE10 9JF

Locality: Greater London

Local Authorities:

Greater London; Greenwich

Historical County: Kent

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 177 Grid Ref: TQ385778
Latitude: 51.4822 Longitude: -0.0068259


DLR: Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich. Rail: Maze Hill. Bus: 53, 129, 177, 180, 188, 199, 202, 286, 386. River service to Greenwich Pier

Visitor facilities

Opening contact details:

Grounds open 8am-6pm daily. Painted Hall & Chapel open 10am-5pm; Greenwich Gateway Visitors Centre open daily 10am-5pm; closed 24-26 Dec.

Key information:

Form of site: public park

Purpose of site: ornamental garden

Context or principal building: parks, gardens and urban spaces

Main period of development: Late 17th century

Survival: Extant

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