University of Greenwich's historic buildings set to open this weekend
By poppy_smith | Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 18:54
The University of Greenwich will open all three of its historic buildings in Sir Christopher Wren's twin-domed riverside masterpiece, the Old Royal Naval College, along with the neighbouring Dreadnought Library and Devonport Mausoleum, throughout Open House London weekend.
Staff and students from the university will lead short tours on Saturday, September 22 and Sunday, September 23, giving members of the public the rare opportunity to explore historic spaces normally occupied by those studying at the campus.
The Grade II listed Dreadnought Seamen's Hospital, designed by James 'Athenian' Stuart in 1764-8, is now a modern library and computing centre which retains many period features. Endowment plaques from the hospital can also be seen on the ground floor.
Highlights of the riverside Queen Anne Court include a formal boardroom and restored Portland stonework leading to the Vice-Chancellor's pavilion. Queen Mary Court has a striking cantilevered stairway by Thomas Ripley, barrel vaulting and Portland stone. King William Court has original wooden panelling which was once part of seamen's cabins.
The refurbished Devonport Mausoleum is the last resting place of some of the country's best known naval figures including Sir Thomas Hardy, Nelson's flag captain on Victory at Trafalgar, and Admiral Lord Hood, one of the great admirals of the American War of Independence.
The Old Royal Naval College is home to the university's largest campus. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, already mentioned above, on the banks of the River Thames, it is at the heart of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Other parts of the Old Royal Naval College will also be open, courtesy of the Greenwich Foundation, including the Painted Hall, Chapel, Discover Greenwich and the Admirals House, which is not normally accessible to the public.
Tours run on both Saturday and Sunday from 10.30am to 4.30pm and start from the information point on Lower Grand Square. Entry is free.
For further information about London Open House events at the Old Royal Naval College call: 020 8269 4799 or visit www.ornc.org/events/detail/open-house-london
To find out more about studying business, computing and mathematical sciences, humanities, social sciences or law at the University of Greenwich in the Old Royal Naval College call 020-8331 9000 or seehttp://www2.gre.ac.uk/study/courses