Old Royal Naval College Tour

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It was one of the hottest days of the year when I was invited on a tour of the Royal Naval College in Greenwich. It is a place that I have frequently been past and taken pictures of but never been inside it. 

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Above are the splendid buildings of the Naval College which date back to 1420s. The first dwellings on the site was Bella Court which was the home of Humphrey the Duke of Gloucester. It was later lived in by 

Queen Margaret of Anjou. In the late 1490′s it was rebuilt by Henry VII and called the Greenwich palace. Henry VIII was born there as well as Mary I & Elizabeth I.

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Much of the old palace fell into disrepair during the English civil war and now only the foundations remain under the main square. The palace was later restored starting in the 1660′s by Charles II. Later it became the Royal hospital for Seamen after the wishes of Queen Mary II.

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Most of the buildings seen today were built during that period and were designed by Christopher Wren. In 1873 the buildings became the Royal Naval college. The navy left in 1997 and now it is an historic site open to the public for free. 

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The photograph above is a replica of the original building the manor.

The tour I went on was a film tour exploring the site where over 80 films have been shot. 

Some of the most famous films that used the Royal college as a backdrop have been Thor, 3 Weddings and a Funeral and more recently the scifi film Jupiter Ascending.

The most famous parts of the site are the Painted Hall and the Chapel.

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The Painted Hall

This is a stunning design matching anything in Italy. It was designed by Christopher Wren &

Nicholas Hawksmoor in the 1700s and is a magnificent masterpiece for the period.

In the coming months it is going to be renovated scaffolding will be put up and visitors will be able to get very close to the painted ceiling and watch the restoration in action. 

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The Chapel of St Peter
The Chapel is still a working church and as you can see from the photographs it’s intricate design is from the period. It was designed by James Stuart & William Newton and completed in 1789. 

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Samuel Green organ

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In the basement is a skittle alley.

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The buildings are kept open to the public by using it as back drops for films / TV / adverts amongst other things. With catering making the most money then films and donations. It is free to visit the places mentioned in this post.

You can take one of the excellent tours by booking on their website  https://www.ornc.org 

More of my photographs can be found on Flickr – httpss://www.flickr.com/photos/alalchan/sets/72157655735533311

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July 21, 2015

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