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Painted Hall Ceiling Tours, Kids Go Free

About the Royal Hospital for Seamen & Painted Hall

The Royal Hospital for Seaman at Greenwich was built under the instructions of Mary II. Mary had been inspired by the sight of injured sailors returning from the Battle of La Hogue in 1692 & wanted to provide a naval counterpart to the Chelsea Hospital for soldiers.

The new hospital was designed by Sir Christopher Wren & his assistant Nicolas Hawksmoor. The original design featured a large structure topped by an enormous dome, Mary II ordered that the buildings be split to preserve the view from the Queens House (completed in 1935 by Inigo Jones).

The new design for the Royal Hospital featured four main wings & two smaller domes. Queen Mary Court housed the hospitals Chapel & King William Court housed the painted hall.

James Thornhill & the Painted Hall

The young artist James Thornhill was commissioned to decorate the painted hall, the agreed price for the work was £1 per square yard for the walls & £3 per square yard for the ceiling. After 20 years Thornhill had finished one of the largest painted ceilings in Northern Europe at 40,000 square foot. The masterpiece earned him a fortune & a Knighthood from King George I.

Old Royal Naval College

The Royal Hospital for Seamen closed in 1869 & in 1873 the buildings were turned into the Royal Naval College. For 124 years naval officers from around the globe studied at the Royal Naval College. In 1997 the Royal Navy left & the Old Royal Naval College is now open to the public free of charge.

Click the link below to visit the Old Royal Naval College website & learn more about the sites rich history.

The Painted Hall Project

The Painted Hall is currently undergoing an extensive conservation project, 40,000 square feet of paint is being carefully cleaned & conserved. A range of ceiling tours are being offered by Old Royal Naval College allowing visitors to ascend 60 feet to view the ceiling up close & unlock the secrets of James Thornhill’s masterpiece.

Kids Go Free!

Throughout the school holidays Painted Hall Ceiling Tours are being offered to children for free. Bookings can be made on the Old Royal Naval College website or at the ticket desk on site, child discounts are applied automatically.

(Children aged 6-17 are eligible to take advantage of this offer. Maximum 4 children per adult.)

Painted Hall Ceiling Tour Ticket Prices

Adult: £10 / £11 (With Donation)

Child (6-17): £5 / £5.50 (With Donation)
Children under 6 cannot be admitted for safety reasons.

National Art Pass Holder: £5 / £5.50 (With Donation)
Please bring your pass.

Arrive / Depart Greenwich By Boat

To Greenwich Pier:

 10:00, 10:30, 11:00, 11:30, 12:00, 12:30, 13:00, 13:30, 14:00, 14:30, 15:00, 15:30, 16:00, 16:30, 17:00

To Greenwich Pier & Thames Flood Barrier:
 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30
To Greenwich Pier:
 10:20, 10:50, 11:20, 11:50, 12:20, 12:50, 13:20, 13:50, 14:20, 14:50, 15:20, 15:50, 16:20, 16:50, 17:20
To Greenwich Pier & Thames Flood Barrier:

 10:50, 11:50, 12:50, 13:50, 14:50

To St. Katharine Pier & Westminster Pier:
 11:00, 12:00, 12:30, 13:00, 13:30, 14:00, 14:30, 15:00, 15:30, 16:00, 16:30, 17:00, 17:30, 18:00
To the Thames Flood Barrier:
 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30

About Thames River Services

Thames River Services (TRS) have been operating daily sightseeing tours since 1986, our current service operates between Westminster Pier, St. Katharine Pier (for Tower of London) & Greenwich Pier. During the summer months we operate the only river tours to the Thames Flood barrier, departing Westminster Pier, St Katharine Pier & Greenwich Pier five times a day.

Our vessels M.V London Rose & M.V Avontuur IV operate on these services along with M.V Thomas Doggett (owned & operated by TRS) and a collection of other modern & traditional vessels owned by our partners.

Posted in Greenwich Pier, Special Offers