Temporary Closure

Following the government’s announcement of the new lockdown, the Old Royal Naval College will be closing temporarily from Thursday 5th November. We will reopen our doors on Thursday 3rd December, subject to government guidance. Find Out More

Life at the Royal Naval College

Work and play for naval officers 1873–1997

This ‘University of the Navy’ equipped officers with the skills required for the modern age of seamanship – an era when steam power replaced the sail.

Navigation, naval history and mathematics were some of the subjects studied.


Training on nuclear control system at Greenwich

Later in the 20th century, the site was equipped with its own miniature nuclear reactor, known as JASON to train officers in operations on-board nuclear submarines.

Fun and Games

Alongside rigorous training, students found time for fun. A small surviving cellar from the old Tudor Palace was used for discos and dancing, while the Samuel Pepys building was a place for students to battle it out over a game of squash.

The Skittle Alley

The Skittle Alley (still open to visitors today) was also a hit, as it had been for the Greenwich Pensioners before.

Also popular was performing in the annual Night Pageant, a grand theatrical performance narrating the history of the Royal Naval College and the Royal Navy.

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