History of the Chapel
The resident Tudor monarchs would have worshipped at the original Chapel Royal. Archaeological digs have unearthed many artefacts from the site of old Chapel, now the Queen Anne Car Park. These remains are now on display in the Visitor Centre.
As an avid fan of choral music, it was regularly frequented by Queen Elizabeth I. The same composers, such as Thomas Tallis and William Byrd, are still sung in the present Chapel today.
The Royal Hospital Chapel
The Royal Hospital Chapel was built by English architect Thomas Ripley (1682-1758) following designs by Sir Christopher Wren, for the use of the staff and pensioners of the Royal Hospital. The naval veterans were expected to attend the Chapel every day.
In 1779 the Chapel was gutted by fire but was rebuilt by British architect and neoclassical artist James ‘Athenian’ Stuart (1713-1788) with nautical motifs designed to make the Naval Pensioners feel at home.