Life at the Royal Naval College
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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.
Dig deeper into our story
From 1498–1694, the site was home to Greenwich Palace, birthplace of Henry VIII and his daughters.Find out more
Shortly before her death in 1694, Queen Mary II commissioned the construction of a new charitable institution for the care of retired men who had served in the Royal Navy.Find out more