The Royal Navy Cemetery Devonport Mausoleum and Devonport House Grounds (also known as Royal Hospital for Seamen Cemetery, Seamen's Hospital Burial Ground)7269

London, Greater London, England

Brief Description

Within the grounds is a small railed area of the former cemetery that contains a number of monuments and the Devonport Mausoleum. There are a number of other monuments within the grounds of Devonport House, which are laid out with grass, mature trees and ornamental beds. Devonport House is used as a conference centre and provides student accommodation. The site is within Greenwich Maritime World Heritage Site, designated in 1997.

History

The Royal Hospital, now the Old Royal Naval College was built on the site of the royal palace at Greenwich. Although the buildings were incomplete, the first pensioners came to the Greenwich Hospital in 1705 and by 1755 there were 1,550 occupants. The Devonport Mausoleum was built in 1750, probably designed by Thomas Ripley, Royal Hospital Surveyor, and a plaque commemorates the first burial in the graveyard of Pensioner John Meriton on 5 July 1749.

Visitor Facilities

Grounds of Devonport House open 8am-5pm; Cemetery and Mausoleum open occasionally, including London Open House

Detailed Description

The former burial ground of the Royal Hospital for Seamen is a railed area within the grounds of Devonport House, with a number of monuments outside the boundary railings. The Hospital or almshouse for the relief and support of seamen was built from 1696 on the site of the royal palace at Greenwich at the wish of Queen Mary. The first pensioners arrived in 1705 and by 1755 there were 1,550 occupants. The Devonport Mausoleum was built in 1750 and has a plaque recording the first burial in 1749; by the time the Hospital was closed in 1869 some 24,000 men and some women were buried here, although many of the remains were later cleared. In 1873 the buildings were taken over by the Royal Naval College, which retained the Infirmary as a Free Hospital for Seamen of All Nations. From the 1870s much of the area was laid out as pleasure grounds for the Royal Hospital School. Devonport House was built in 1926-29 as a Nurses' Home.

Sources consulted:

Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 2: South (Penguin) 1999; Pieter Van Der Merwe, The Devonport Mausoleum, leaflet produced for London Open House, 2009

For more information see http://www.londongardensonline.org.uk/gardens-online-record.asp?ID=GRN048a

Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

Grounds of Devonport House open 8am-5pm; Cemetery and Mausoleum open occasionally, including London Open House

Directions

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

Telephone

01793 445050

Official Website

Click Here

Other websites

Owners

  • Greenwich Foundation leased to the University of Greenwich

References

Contributors

  • London Parks and Gardens Trust