I could not guess how many times I have walked past the Church of St. Alfege in Greenwich and admired it, yet I had never been in it until last week. don't aske me to describe in architectural detail how it does, but it is so evidently the work of Nicholas Hawksmoor, a great architect who studied under Sir Christopher Wren and assisted him on some of his projects including the nearby Naval College. Hawksmoor designed many churches in the East End including Christ Church Spitalfields, St. Geroge in the East, St. Anne's Limehouse and this which some people think is his finest.
Hawksmoor, however, was only one in a series of churchbuilders on this site, as there has been a Christian place of worship on this site since 1012. The site was chosen as it was the site of the martyrdom of St. Alfege, one time Archbishop of Canterbury who was captured by Vikings and murdered here. Several buildings later and including a complete collapse in 1710 we have the magnificent structure you see today.
The place is absolutely loaded with history, so much so it is difficult to know where to begin. King Henry VIII was baptised here, Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal worshipped here, which is probably not surprising given the proximity of the Greenwich Observatory and the Prime Meridian. There is an evident military connection here, as evidenced by the numerous military memorials on the walls. Perhaps the most famous is General Wolfe (of Quebec fame) who is buried here. One of my photos is his memorial which is on the left as you go in the door.
Another interesting thing is that the place is used for musical recitals. On an October midweek lunchtime I was treated to a recital by students from Trinity Laban Chamber Orchestra, led by Steven Devine of a piece by Thomas Arne and two by J.C. Bach featuring not one but two harpsichords. I am not a great fan of classical music but the sound, in this wonderful space, was quite wonderful. Check the website for further concerts.
Whilst many people come to Greenwich for other things like the Maritime Museum and so forth, you sohuld really set aside a little time to see this incredible place.
London´s oldest royal park affords a panoramic view of London from the top of the hill. Amid the rolling landscape are trees planted by Charles II in the 1660s, lovely formal gardens, a deer enclosure and play grounds.
Situado en una colina detrás del museo nacional marítimo, ofrece unas vistas panorámicas de Docklands y de la parte baja del Támesis. Es el más viejo de todos los parques y forma parte de lo que se denomina herencia del mundo.
If you are visiting Maritime Greenwich, it's worth the extra time to check out this foot tunnel that goes under the River Thames, north to the Isle of Dogs. Built in 1902, it is a third of a kilometre long and has about 100 steps at each end. Usually there are also lifts operating at both ends during the day. There is a little park on the other side where you have excellent views of the Old Royal Naval College back across the river.
As a regular visitor to Greenwich, i never tire of this view. On a clear day you can see St Paul's Cathedral and the "gerkin" over in central London. Canary Wharf and the rest of Docklands, as well as the Millenium Dome. Outside the observatory there is a special viewing area where you can take pictures and seats so you can eat your lunch. There is also a plaque explaining the buildings that you can see, but this is rather out of date! It doesn't include the Dome or any of the buildings around Canary Wharf!!! Turn around and you will see a statue of James Wolf enjoying the view with you.
Every place on Earth is measured in terms of its distance east or west from the Greenwich Meridian. The line itself divides the eastern and western hemispheres of the Earth, just as the Equator divides the northern and southern hemispheres.
The Greenwich time line represents the Prime Meridian of the World at longitude 0 degrees and you can see it here at the Royal Observatory.
King Charles ll commissioned a royal observatory here in 1675. Until 1954 Greenwich Mean Time was based on calculations here and until 1924 the read ball on top of the observatory tower (see my photo) was dropped at 13.00 each day to assist with the calculation. It still drops each day at 13.00 but not for any reason other than display.
There is a good display of time related articles and a reconstruction of the house the first astronomer Flamstead lived in here. Also a camera obscura and a 120 seat planetarium. Entrance is £10 with concessions (March 2011). Good restroom facilities and disabled friendly.
Fine art: over 4500 oil paintings and over 60,000 prints, drawings and watercolours;
Decorative art : silver, ceramics, furniture, glass, jewellery, textiles and sailor's craftwork;
Flags: over 1000 flags including two large collections of house flags;
Relics: over 270 relics of Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated last expedition;
Ship plans: the largest single collection of original ship plans in the world;
Timekeeping: Museum specializes in precision timekeeping. With over 1000 objects, it is the finest collection of its kind in the world;
Uniforms: over 7000 items of regulation dress, ratings’ clothing, ceremonial wear and accessories;
Weapons: firearms, ordnance and edged weapons such as swords and daggers;
Ship models: one of the finest ship model collections in the world with around 3200 models in total;
Relics: over 270 relics of Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated last expedition
Astronomical & navigational instruments: about 400 globes and armillary spheres, 40 sundials, 360 telescopes, 70 astrolabes etc.
The National Maritime Museum (NMM) is the leading maritime museum of the United Kingdom, and one of the most important in the world. It is based primarily in Greenwich, adjacent to Greenwich Park.
The NMM houses a wide and varied collection of exhibits relating to Britain's extensive naval heritage; items range from ships' anchors to royal rowing barges, from naval uniforms to paintings of naval heroes and explorers.
The Museum also has a branch in a harbourside building at Falmouth, Cornwall.
Next to the Observatory is a statue of Greenwich resident General Wolfe, he brought about British rule in Canada. From the base of the statue you have a fantastic view of the park, Greenwich and London.
The Prime Meridian of the World (0° longitude) - It dates back to October 1884. At the behest of the President of the United States of America 41 delegates from 25 nations met in Washington, DC, USA for the International Meridian Conference.
Resolution 2 of The International Meridian Conference was - 'fixing the Meridian at Greenwich', it's passed 22-1.
The Greenwich Hospital was founded in 1694 as the Royal Naval Hospital for Seamen.
It is a Royal Charity for the benefit of seafarers and their dependents, with the Secretary of State for Defence acting as the Crown's sole Trustee. And it's the Navy’s oldest charity.
The hospital was established as a residential home for injured sailors, on the model of Les Invalides and the Chelsea Hospital. The charity now funds sheltered housing for former Royal Navy personnel and the Royal Hospital School at Holbrook in Suffolk.
The hospital occupied its prime riverside site on the south bank of the river Thames in Greenwich, London for over 170 years, closing to pensioners in 1869.
The museum site also includes the Queen's House (part of the historic park-and-palace landscape of "Maritime Greenwich", which was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997) and the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, until 1948 the home of the Royal Greenwich Observatory.
In addition to its open exhibits, the Museum houses an extensive archive of objects and documents relating to seafaring, navigation and ships.
Greenwich has long been home to a Royal Charter Market which was originally assigned to the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital on the 19th Dec. 1700 for 1,000 years.
Three roofs were built to protect the market from the elements. By the 1900's the timber roof was in a dangerous state of disrepair and was replaced by the current steel trussed and glazed roof in 1908.
The current roof dates from 1902-08 and the buildings on either side of the market from 1958-60.
In 1944 flying bombs cause extensive damage in Greenwich. The market lost its roof covering in the blasts...
Nowday Greenwich Market trades five days a week, but many shops, cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants around the market are open Tuesday to Sunday all year round, with some open on Mondays too.
The Queen's House was designed and begun in 1616-1617 by architect Inigo Jones for Anne of Denmark (the queen of King James I of England) and completed about 1635 for Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of King Charles I.
The House is one of the most important buildings in British architectural history, being the first consciously classical building to have been put up in Britain. However, although its style is generally called Palladian, its most specific precedent is not by Palladio but rather Giuliano da Sangallo's Villa Medici at Poggio a Caiano.
Some earlier British buildings such as Longleat had made borrowings from the classical style but these were restricted to small details and were not applied in a systematic way. Nor was the form of these buildings informed by an understanding of classical precedents. The Queen's House would have appeared revolutionary to British eyes in its day.
The Queen's House is nowadays part of the National Maritime Museum.
The Cutty Sark is one of the most famous things in Greenwich. A living testimony to the bygone, glorious days of sail.
The Cutty Sark is the only surviving tea clipper in the world. It was launched in 1869 and travelled between Britain and the Orient. She broke the world sailing record by completing the trip in only 107 days. You can tour all around the ship and visit the cramped accommodation of the 28 crew, and the ship's teak lined Master 's Saloon.
Open dayly till 5pm.
You will need about 30 mins to look around.
The Cutty Sark has been badly damaged by fire on 21 May 2007. The Cutty Sark is expected to be fully restored thanks to a £3.3m gift from Israeli shipping magnate, who served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War.
The British Music Experience (BME) is a ten year exhibitions about the British Music after WWII.
The exhibition is part of the O2 dome in North Greenwich.
It's a partly interactive tour where you can play instruments and make recordings of your favorite songs, go through the decades and select your favorite musical subjects in time, do some dancing and many, many more.
Much of the activities can be viewed after your visit as it will be recorded under your ticket code and is accessible via the Internet.
The BME shop has some interesting items.
Entrance fee: £15.00 (Adult)
Opening hours: Daily: 11AM - 7.30PM