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Art Filled Days » Then & Now » Greenwich Hospital

Greenwich Hospital


Not much has changed on the outside of this spectacular building in London since it was built. Now classified as a World Heritage Site, the buildings were designed by Christopher Wren and built between 1696 and 1712. This complex of buildings was used as a hospital until 1869. It was home to the Royal Naval College, Greenwich from 1873 to 1998.

The hospital was built where the Palace of Placentia once stood – the birthplace of Elizabeth I.

inside greenwich hospital

Mary II had the hospital built to care for wounded sailors returning home to England from war.

Pictures of the interior of the hospital showcase that royal influence with large frescoes and gilded ceilings.

The buildings are now leased to the University of Greenwich and the Trinity College of Music. The Painted Hall (shown at the right), the Chapel, the grounds and a Visitor Center are now open to the public free of charge.

If the buildings look familiar that might be because several major motion pictures have been filmed there including Patriot Games, Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Mummy Returns, and Laura Croft: Tomb Raider.

The picture below is how one artist depicted Greenwich Hospital as seen from a sailing ship on the Thames. This illustration was recently added to Reusable Art and is one of several great sailing ship images that can be downloaded for free from the site.

royal naval college

No illustrator was credited for the work and my guess is that is a reproduction of a painting done during the mid to late 1800s. The book in which it appears, Our Parlour Panarama, was published in 1882 by T. Nelson and Sons and was written by George Cupples (1839-1898).

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