Greenwich attractions to host numerous events celebrating 300 years of Wren

A range of events are set to begin celebrating 300 years of Christopher Wren at the Old Naval College in Greenwich.

A wide range of exhibitions are on from now until the autumn. From March tours of the Naval College will be held up until September allowing people to “discover the secrets of the buildings, find out about his troubled beginnings, follow his illustrious career and see how his legacy continues to resonate today.”

One of the biggest attractions will be opening one of the domes for the first time for public access. That will occur over the summer months.

Looking from grounds towards Canary Wharf

For those interested in the building’s design, a free exhibit will be available at the Visitor Centre which will include “a 3D architectural fly- through animation of the Old Royal Naval College, as well as models and technical drawings by University of Greenwich Architecture students of Wren-designed churches and other buildings.”

In addition a photography exhibition will run from Easter. “Wren: What Legacy Now?” will see free access to portraits of people continuing Wren’s legacy.


On 12th May a concert will be held in the Chapel of St Peter and St Paul. The Brandenburg Sinfonia will play supported by the 35-strong Trinity Laban Chapel Choir, conducted by Ralph Allwood, who will perform pieces from Handel and Purcell.

Family events will also be held during May half term and over the summer holidays.

The Old Naval College has seen a varied history since inception as a hospital for sailors. The hospital closed in 1692 and in 1875 the bodies of 3,000 were reinterred at east Greenwich pleasance. It’s now a public park located close to Westcombe Park station and well worth a visit.

Military use then saw training for Officers held on the grounds. Post World War II the site became home to the Department of Nuclear Science and Technology and housed a mini nuclear reactor, which was little known to the outside world.

Royal Naval College

The reactor was encased in five feet of concrete and dismantled by 1999, with military use across the site having ceased in 1998 before it then became home to the University of Greenwich.

Since then a pub opened on site from brewery Meantime before they vacated and Young’s took over.






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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

3 thoughts on “Greenwich attractions to host numerous events celebrating 300 years of Wren

  • Waiting to have it cancelled because Wren had a distant relative who had a ship that once had a slave on it, much like Nelson has been deemed a persona non gratia.

  • presumably they are going to other include Wren buildings in the Borough?
    -and I can’t think why they think no one knew about Jason in 1973

  • You’re right it was hardly a top secret given it was featured in the press in the 60s though I’ve read a few instances of people stating they never knew it was there and it being secret – but not all that sure about that. In the mid 80s the partner of someone who worked there said they’d died of radiation with an open verdict from the jury. I’ve altered the text of the post a bit.


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