The Painted Hall

Old Royal Naval College Greenwich

The Painted Hall is the centrepiece of the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren as a ceremonial dining room for what was then the new Royal Hospital for Seaman, the Painted Hall was completed in 1705. Its vast decorative scheme was painted by Sir James Thornhill, the first British artist to be knighted. Started in 1707, it took 19 years to complete. The paintings celebrate England’s naval power and mercantile prosperity, as well as its newly installed protestant monarchy. Successive monarchs William III and Mary II, Anne and George I join a cast of hundreds of figures, mythological, allegorical, historical and contemporary. Read more at

Struck by the brilliance

The Painted Hall has been referred to as the ‘Sistine Chapel of the UK’ – its vast decorated interior, extending to 4,000 square metres

I said ‘Wow’

The King William Undercroft, a grandly proportioned vaulted space – mirroring the plan of the Painted Hall above and designed by Christopher Wren and his Clerk of Works, Nicholas Hawksmoor – has been lovingly restored to its original form. 20th-century additions, including part of a large modern kitchen, have been removed to reveal the majesty of the space and the beauty of the baroque architectural details. This space, originally used as a day-to-day dining room for the naval pensioners, will now house a shop, café and The Sackler Gallery where visitors can learn about the history and meaning of Thornhill’s masterpiece, prior to ascending into the Painted Hall itself.

Thank you to The Old Royal Naval College ( ) for allowing @igerslondon in for a pre public visit to spend time admiring the beautifully restored Hall. * #PaintedHall * #RevealingTheCeiling * #igerslondon_EmptyPH * @oldroyalnavalcollege #greenwich #visitgreenwich #london

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