Girl About London Town: Old Royal Naval College

A couple of weeks ago London city became centre stage for anyone who enjoys a bit of history and architecture. 700 private buildings opened their doors to the public for the Open House event, that annually takes place for one weekend. Unfortunately, I hadn’t planned ahead, so I was unable to see the peruse buildings.

However, London is full of surprises. There’s always something new to stumble upon. As I did last week. Doing my little bit of research of London’s grand interiors, I came across the painted hall in Greenwich; which only happens to be a couple of boroughs away. Despite the short distance, I’ve only visited Greenwich once this year.

Zipping up my camera. I made my way to Greenwich’s 18-acre riverside ground, to explore one of London’s finest buildings. I entered the Old Royal Naval College through its main entrance by the cafeteria and queued up behind a group of tourists to purchase my annual pass. Passing the gallery gift shop, I was soon on my way to perceive the 300-year-old painting that took Sir James Thornhill 19 years to complete.

With awe, I descended the stairs to a hall that was once used as a lavish dining room for Naval pensioners many decades ago. Reaching the bottom I stood for a few seconds in the centre of the entrance, taking in 4000 square/metres of grand artistry. 

The painted hall spent months hidden behind mountains of scaffoldings, for a prodigious clean and conserve project. Restoring parts of the paintings that had deteriorated with time; decades of decay obscuring fine detail. Now, rejuvenated colour, precision and richness can be seen and adored.

Staring up at the oil painted clouds, I met the gazes of many nymphs, goddesses and animals. As I advanced towards the middle of the hall, scanning the ceiling facet, new figures manifested themselves, while old scenes faded. I was lost under a surreal masterpiece of English baroque art. 

After a small wonder around all four corners of the room, I gradually made my way to the exit to spend a little time enjoying the open view.

Old Royal Navy College, blameitonart (7)Old Royal Navy College, blameitonart (6)Old Royal Navy College, blameitonart (5)Old Royal Navy College, blameitonart (4)Old Royal Navy College, blameitonart (3)Old Royal Navy College, blameitonart (2)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s