The Old Royal Naval College
The story of Greenwich
The story of Greenwich starts at the Old Royal Naval College, the centrepiece of Maritime Greenwich, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 500 years of incredible history, art and architecture, it is home to the spectacular Painted Hall, as well as being “the most popular filming location in the world.”
The beautiful London riverside location and stunning architecture designed by Sir Christopher Wren provides a wonderful day out for everyone. Walk in the footsteps of British Royalty as you join one of our daily site and Painted Hall guided tours covering the site’s many stories and lives.
The site reveals great stories, from its time as a 15th Century Tudor Palace where Henry VIII and both his daughters, Queen Mary I and Queen Elizabeth I were born; to a Royal Hospital for Seamen and retired pensioners; where Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson’s funeral procession began; a Naval College in more recent times and today as a place of learning, spectacle, art and culture.
No trip to the Old Royal Naval College is complete without a visit to the awe-inspiring Painted Hall. Known as the UK’s own Sistine Chapel, it is an artistic masterpiece painted in the 17th Century by Sir James Thornhill, which took 19 years to complete. Depicting 4,000 square metres of paintings featuring a cast of over 200 royal, mythical and allegorical characters covering its vast ceiling and walls, it’s a breath-taking experience not to be missed.
Modern day culture
Hear about the many blockbuster movies shot on this site and why the Old Royal Naval College is one of the most popular filming locations in the world on a Film and TV Tour. Over 150 films and TV programmes have used the site as a location, including Netflix’s Bridgerton, and The Crown, Thor: The Dark World, Pirates of the Caribbean and many more.
The Old Royal Naval College is an iconic London destination which hosts spectacular cultural events all year round. It’s been the home to major music festivals for over ten years and has welcomed many artists including Goldfrapp, Cliff Richard, Emeli Sandé, Steps and Paul Weller.
There’s plenty for the whole family to discover at the Old Royal Naval College with a mix of community, free and ticketed experiences. Find our more here.