Open House

19-20 September 2020

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Open House is a programme commissioned by Open City: a charity that works with architecture and urban design to make our built environment more accessible and inclusive. We’re delighted to once again be part of this exciting endeavour, giving you access to parts of our beautiful grounds to learn more about the fascinating history of our site.

Admiral’s House

Saturday and Sunday, timed entry from 10am – 5pm. Pre-booking necessary. 

One of the oldest surviving parts of the site, Admiral’s House, overlooking the Thames, was once the residence of the Governor of the Royal Hospital for Seamen. Originally designed by John Webb for Charles II as part of a plan to create a royal palace to rival Versailles. Grade I listed. A rare chance to view this elegant space.

Grand Square

Pop-up talks, Saturday and Sunday 10.30-15.30 

The Grand Square of the Old Royal Naval College lies at the heart of one of the most spectacular architectural complexes in Europe.  These drop-in talks will explore the histories behind the sweeping vistas on view. The Grand Square talk will last approximately 15 minutes and be repeated on the half hour from 10.30 to 15.30.

King William Courtyard

Pop-up talks, Saturday and Sunday 11.00 to 16.00

Hawksmoor’s work in the King WIlliam Courtyard, with its massive scale and sculptural enrichment, is a quintessential example of English Baroque.  The Courtyard is overlooked by the Nelson Pediment, created in Coade stone to a design by the American-born history painter, Benjamin West. These talks will examine the art and architecture of this unique space. The King William Courtyard talk will last approximately 15 minutes and will be repeated on the hour from 11.00 to 16.00.

Smartify Virtual Tour

Discover the stories behind the site’s incredible architecture, from Royal Palace to Naval College. Explore our grounds at your own pace, and learn about the different influences and inspirations for these majestic buildings.

Click here, or download the Smartify app.