Old Royal Naval College

ORNC Canaletto View
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Welcome to the Old Royal Naval College (ORNC), Sir Christopher Wren’s twin-domed riverside masterpiece and one of London’s most famous landmarks. The ORNC is open daily and is a breathtaking place to visit – whether you have an hour or a day.

The iconic buildings stand on the site of Greenwich Palace, Henry VIII’s favourite royal residence and include the Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre, Painted Hall and Chapel. You can find out more about the ORNC’s intriguing past by joining one of our daily guided tours.

The buildings and grounds of the ORNC were originally designed as a refuge for old and injured sailors in the 1690s. Later the site became a training college for officers in the Royal Navy. Today the beautiful interiors and grounds are free to visit and host an exciting range of events all year round.

Explore over 500 years of history at the Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre, browse for design led gifts in the Shop at the ORNC or enjoy a beer at The Old Brewery. See the Painted Hall where Admiral Lord Nelson lay in state after his death in the Battle of Trafalgar, experience the grand neo-classical Chapel or attend public events at the ORNC.

Venue Type:

Ship or maritime heritage site, Historic house or home, Heritage site

Opening hours

The Visitor Centre, Painted Hall and Chapel are open to visitors daily between 10am and 5pm. The grounds are open daily from 8.00 to 18.00.

Daily guided tours run at 12.00 & 14.00 lasting approximately 60 minutes and cost £5 per person (free for children under 16).

Private group tours lasting 90 minutes are available at £7.50 per person. Please call for availability.

In the Chapel, a service of worship is held every Sunday at 11.00, to which all are welcome.

The ORNC is closed to the public on 24, 25 & 26 December. The Chapel and/or Painted Hall may occasionally be closed at short notice, please see the website for updates.

Admission charges

Admission to the Old Royal Naval College: Free
(includes the Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre, Painted Hall, Chapel and grounds)

Getting there

By DLR: Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich (Zone 2/3)
By tube: Jubilee Line to Canary Wharf and change for DLR as above.
By Rail: Greenwich Zone 2 from Charing Cross, Cannon Street, London Bridge and Dartford.
By River: Greenwich Pier (Zone 2)
By Bus: 129, 177, 180, 188, 199, 286 386

Additional info

Please contact us on 020 8269 4799 if you require wheelchair access and we can send you information regarding the step-free route around the site. Access for wheelchairs into the Chapel is provided by a Stairmate machine.

Collection details

Archaeology, Architecture, Maritime, Religion

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

WRNS Untold Stories: The Women’s Royal Naval Service at Greenwich

  • 7 July — 3 December 2017 *on now

To mark the centenary of the formation of the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) in 2017, the Old Royal Naval College is holding a special exhibition exploring the lives and experiences of the women who served and trained at Greenwich.

In 1918 the first pioneering group of women joined the Royal Naval College as cooks, motor drivers and telephonists, releasing men for sea service. Entering a predominantly male environment, they won the respect of their colleagues despite initial scepticism. During the Second World War and beyond, Greenwich became an important centre for training officers and ran specialised courses for Wren ratings. As the roles open to women expanded, many of the Wrens who trained at Greenwich went on to play a vital part in the war and beyond. Combining photography, film and oral histories, this exhibition explores the changing role of women in the Navy through the lens of the time they spent at Greenwich.

Researched and curated by a team of volunteers from the University of the Third Age, the exhibition draws on new interviews with former Wrens who trained here. If you have a memory or experience to share, why not visit the exhibition and leave your reminiscence on our ‘Memory Board’.

Held in the Visitor Centre, the exhibition is free to visit.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 18+
  • 16-17
  • Any age

Admission

FREE

Website

http://ornc.org/wrns

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
The Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College

Charles Le Brun and the Image of Louis XIV

  • 2 November 2017 6:30-8pm

Join us in the Painted Hall for the first of our Autumn lecture series on Baroque murals in Britain.

King Louis XIV’s favourite artist, Charles Le Brun – the creator of Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors – has often been described as a dictator of the arts in France, a statement which Wolf Burchard reassesses in his latest book. Le Brun was a gifted and versatile artist, an excellent painter and designer of tapestries, sculpture, architecture, and furniture. Burchard’s lecture will explore Le Brun’s different fields of activities, his relationship to the great monarch and how his work impacted on mural painters in Britain including James Thornhill, Louis Laguerre and Antonio Verrio.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Where

The Painted Hall
Old Royal Naval College
Greenwich
London
SE10 9NN

Additional info

Wheelchair Access available

Admission

£15, £12 concessions (students, seniors (60+), unemployed)
Ticket price includes a glass of wine.

Website

https://www.ornc.org/Event/charles-le-brun-and-the-image-of-louis-xiv

A Painted Hall Ceiling Tour in action

Audio-Described Painted Hall Ceiling Tour

  • 4 November 2017 11:30am-12:30pm

Ascend 60 feet and uncover the secrets of Britain’s largest painted ceiling.

Painted between 1707 and 1726, the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College hides many surprises. Currently undergoing a major conservation project, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the drama of this vast baroque masterpiece up close.

Take an hour long ceiling tour via a special observation deck and discover the painting’s mysteries as they are revealed for the first time in half a century.

This audio-description tour is suitable for blind and partially-sighted visitors. The tour is delivered by an expert Tour Guide and includes a series of tactile objects.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Where

The Painted Hall
The Painted Hall,
Old Royal Naval College,
Greenwich
SE10 9NN

Admission

Cost: £5, plus one accompanying person for free.

Website

https://www.ornc.org/Event/audio-described-painted-hall-ceiling-tour-4-november-2017

The observation deck in the Painted Hall

Antonio Verrio - an Italian decorative painter in England (1672-1707)

  • 9 November 2017 6:30-8pm

The Italian artist Antonio Verrio (c.1636 – 1707) arrived in England in 1672. He brought with him from Europe the latest fashions for grand painted interiors, and found enthusiastic patrons at the decadent Restoration court, keen for some artistic splendour after the sterility of the Commonwealth. Verrio worked for Charles II at Windsor, James II at Whitehall and William III at Hampton Court, as well as transforming the state rooms at country houses across the country. This talk will consider how Verrio's art paved the way for Sir James Thornhill and his work at Greenwich.

Doors open at 6.30pm, with an opportunity to view Thornhill’s masterpiece up close on the observation deck before the talk begins at 7pm.

Please see the Old Royal Naval College website for further information and booking.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Where

The Painted Hall
The Painted Hall,
Old Royal Naval College
Greenwich
London
SE10 9NN

Additional info

Wheelchair Access available.

Admission

£15, £12 concessions (students, seniors (60+), unemployed)
Ticket price includes a glass of wine.

Website

https://www.ornc.org/Event/Antonio-Verri%20-an-Italian-decorative-painter-in-England-(1672-1707)

Late event in the Painted Hall

Painted Ladies: Friday Late at the Painted Hall

  • 17 November 2017 7-10pm

Be seduced by the drama of the Painted Hall at this late event for all the senses.

After dark, the Painted Hall becomes the court of baroque Queens and Goddesses, a theatre of rivalry where art and life are one and the same. Get to know the women in this baroque masterpiece and enter a world of feminine intrigue and power politics.

Featuring live music, art and performance - be shocked by the intricacies of eighteenth-century perfume, become a courtly artist or printmaker, and dance surrounded by paintings of power play.

Adults only event. Bar running through the evening.

For further details see the event website.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Where

The Painted Hall
Old Royal Naval College
Greenwich
SE10 9NN
England

Admission

Adult - £12
Concessions (students, seniors (60+), unemployed) - £10.00

Website

https://www.ornc.org/Event/painted-ladies

A conservator at work in the Painted Hall

21st Century Conservation: are we bold enough?

  • 30 November 2017 6:30-8pm

Conserving the Painted Hall is one of Europe’s largest and most ambitious ‘open’ conservation projects. The work involves a range of conservation techniques and philosophies with visitors enjoying unprecedented access. The ethical and scientific challenges that it poses are considerable.

Join us for a very special evening where Director of Conservation, Will Palin, will talk to leading experts about the painting and the project. Chief conservator Sophie Stewart and baroque painting specialist Jane Davies will place the Painted Hall Project in the context of changing conservation philosophies and illuminate the technological advances that make it possible.

Doors open at 6.30pm, with an opportunity to view Thornhill’s masterpiece up close on the observation deck before the talk begins at 7pm.

Please see the Old Royal Naval College website for further information and booking.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Where

The Painted Hall
The Painted Hall,
Old Royal Naval College
Greenwich
London
SE10 9NN

Additional info

Wheelchair Access available

Admission

£15, £12 concessions (students, seniors (60+), unemployed)
Ticket price includes a glass of wine.

Website

https://www.ornc.org/Event/21-Century-Conservation-are-we-bold-enough

Greenwich Winter Time Festival poster

Greenwich Winter Time Festival

  • 1 — 31 December 2017

In association with the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich Winter Time presents its own distinctive and individual style, offering an alternative winter event to the seasonal market. A truly unique and contemporary experience, while still fulfilling the traditions of the season, set against the unrivalled backdrop of the Old Royal Naval College.

The event will host a bespoke covered ice rink, London’s finest independent Winter Lifestyle Market, an authentic Father Christmas experience for all the family, magical and enchanting entertainment for all ages, artisan food and much more.

Please check the Old Royal Naval College website for further information:
https://www.ornc.org/Event/greenwich-winter-time-festival

Suitable for

  • Any age

Where

Old Royal Naval College
Old Royal Naval College,
Greenwich, London
SE10 9LW

Admission

Tickets start at £15 for adults and £10 for children

Website

https://www.ornc.org/Event/greenwich-winter-time-festival

A portrait of Thornhill on the West Wall of the Painted Hall

J. Thornhill, Painter and Decorator

  • 5 December 2017 6:30-8pm

Join us in the Painted Hall for our final Autumn lecture on Baroque murals in Britain.

James Thornhill’s artistic success brought fame and fortune in his lifetime, but his professional career began in the relatively humble surroundings of the Painter-Stainers’ hall in the City of London, in the company of other English tradesmen who typically specialised in heraldry, leather gilding, or everyday “house painting”. Fortuitously, as a young apprentice to the house painter Thomas Highmore, Thornhill was taken to work first at Chatsworth, then at Hampton Court (where he probably helped to paint the railings of the King’s staircase). It was here that he first encountered the Continental tradition of grand-scale decorative painting, exemplified by Antonio Verrio and Louis Laguerre. In making the move from house painter to history painter, Thornhill proved his ability to reconcile two very different ideas of what it meant to be a painter at the turn of the eighteenth century.

Doors open at 6.30pm, with an opportunity to view Thornhill’s masterpiece up close on the observation deck before the talk begins at 7pm.

Please see the Old Royal Naval College website for further information and booking.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Where

The Painted Hall
The Painted Hall, Old Royal Naval College
Greenwich
London
SE10 9NN

Admission

£15, £12 concessions (students, seniors (60+), unemployed)
Ticket price includes a glass of wine.

Website

https://www.ornc.org/Event/j-thornhill-painter-and-decorator

A Painted Hall Ceiling Tour in action

Audio-Described Painted Hall Ceiling Tour

  • 20 January 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

Ascend 60 feet and uncover the secrets of Britain’s largest painted ceiling.

Painted between 1707 and 1726, the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College hides many surprises. Currently undergoing a major conservation project, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the drama of this vast baroque masterpiece up close.

Take an hour long ceiling tour via a special observation deck and discover the painting’s mysteries as they are revealed for the first time in half a century.

This audio-description tour is suitable for blind and partially-sighted visitors. The tour is delivered by an expert Tour Guide and includes a series of tactile objects.

Please check the Old Royal Naval College website for further information:
https://www.ornc.org/Event/audio-described-painted-hall-ceiling-tour-20-jan-2018

Suitable for

  • Any age

Where

The Painted Hall
The Painted Hall,
Old Royal Naval College,
Greenwich
SE10 9NN

Admission

£5, plus one accompanying person for free.

Website

https://www.ornc.org/Event/audio-described-painted-hall-ceiling-tour-20-jan-2018

Getting there

By DLR: Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich (Zone 2/3)
By tube: Jubilee Line to Canary Wharf and change for DLR as above.
By Rail: Greenwich Zone 2 from Charing Cross, Cannon Street, London Bridge and Dartford.
By River: Greenwich Pier (Zone 2)
By Bus: 129, 177, 180, 188, 199, 286 386

Old Royal Naval College
King William Walk
Greenwich
Greater London
SE10 9NN
England

Website

Old Royal Naval College

www.ornc.org

The Painted Hall

www.ornc.org/visit/attractions/painted-hall

The Chapel

www.ornc.org/visit/attractions/chapel

Events

www.ornc.org/events

Visit us

www.ornc.org/visit

E-mail

Group visits

boxoffice@ornc.org

Learning

learning@ornc.org

Venue hire

venuehire@ornc.org

Documentary and commercial filming

info@ornc.org

News and media filming

press@ornc.org

Telephone

Box office

020 8269 4799

Fax

020 8269 4757

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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