National Maritime Museum
Facts and information
National Maritime MuseumQueen’s House, Greenwich
- National Maritime Museum, Romney Road, Greenwich,
London SE10 9NF
- Opening times:
- 10 AM to 5 PM (daily); Last admission 4.30 PM
- Note: Opening times are subject to change, and may not apply on public holidays. Always reconfirm with the venue before making plans.
- Time required:
- 2 hours (approx)
- Work +44 (0) 208 858 4422
- 129 180 185 189 205 286 386
- Cutty Sark DLR, Greenwich DLR, Island Gardens DLRNote: The nearest train station to National Maritime Museum is Cutty Sark. We can help you find the best route from King’s Cross, Paddington, Victoria, Waterloo and any other train station:
The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich covers British naval history from the Spanish Armada all the way up to the submarines of World War II. Along the way you’ll learn about exploration and trade during the days of Empire, and Nelson’s battles with Napoleon.
Greenwich Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum’s principle building is the Queen’s House, which Inigo Jones designed in 1615. Although unremarkable by today’s standards, it caused an utter sensation in the 17th-century as it was London’s first example of a Palladian-style edifice.
James I commissioned him to build it as the summer residence of Queen Anne, who passed to Charles I on her death. It now contains sixteen galleries filled with naval paintings.
The two buildings connected either side by long white colonnades were commissioned in 1807, to celebrate Britain’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.
History of the British Navy
The Admiral’s exploits are admirably covered in his own gallery. The prize exhibit is the actual jacket that Nelson was wearing when he got shot on board HMS Victory – you can even see the bloodstained bullet-hole through which it entered his shoulder.
The Maritime Museum also has a fine collection of boats and ships, including hundreds of scale-models. Some famous examples include Frederick’s golden barge of 1732, and Ernest Shackleton’s lifeboat James Caird, from his arctic expedition. There is also a replica of the 7th-century Sutton Hoo burial ship, found in Suffolk in 1939.
Kids can keep themselves busy firing mock cannons, and traversing Nordic straits in a Viking longboat.
>> Drummerboy’s blog – National Maritime Museum
- Drummerboy – “I’m not really into boats so maybe I didn’t enjoy the exhibits as much as other people do, but I thought it was a bit boring to be honest. There are no really big boats. They’ve got a few little floaters inside, but nothing more than 20 feet. They’ve got one of the gilded ones from George I’s party on the Thames, and one of those carved wooden sterns from a ship at Trafalgar, along with the big busty birds that decorated the end. But all the other boats are scale models about five feet long – the kind of thing that you’d build out of matchsticks if you had too much time on your hands… continued.”
>> Drummerboy’s blog – Queen’s House
- Drummerboy – “I’m sure that it must have been amazing back in the day, but when you look at it these days it’s just a big white shoebox. The main hall is just two stories tall with a checkerboard floor, and a balcony running round the inside. Think “posh hotel foyer”, and you will have some idea what it looks like. There’s lots of rooms off to the side containing paintings from the National Maritime Museum. If you like boats then you’ll probably get a kick out of it, but for the rest of us it’s the kind of place that you’ll only visit… once… continued.”
Exhibitions at National Maritime Museum…
Turner and the Sea – from 22nd Nov 2013
>> See all exhibitions at National Maritime Museum
>> Events taking place near National Maritime Museum