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Royal Naval College southwest building, King William's Quarter

A Grade I Listed Building in Greenwich, London

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Latitude: 51.4827 / 51°28'57"N

Longitude: -0.0055 / 0°0'19"W

OS Eastings: 538589

OS Northings: 177860

OS Grid: TQ385778

Mapcode National: GBR L1.99D

Mapcode Global: VHGR1.VZGQ

Entry Name: Royal Naval College southwest building, King William's Quarter

Listing Date: 8 June 1973

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1211426

English Heritage Legacy ID: 395931

Location: Greenwich, Greater London Authority, SE10

County: London

District: Greenwich

Electoral Ward/Division: Greenwich West

Built-Up Area: Greenwich

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Greenwich St Alfege

Church of England Diocese: Southwark

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Listing Text

(North Side)

Royal Naval College
South-West building
"King William's Quarter"
TQ 3877 26/G107C


Begun 1698 to design of Sir Christopher Wren. Hall, dome and colonnade completed
1703. West front by Vanbrugh 1728. East (inner front) a long colonnade of paired
Tuscan columns with set back, balustraded upper floor above. At north-east
corner tower of 2 stages with drum and dome above. Lower stage square, 1-bay
wmth wide open pediment and high round arched window with flanking niches. Upper
stage round, of Corinthian columns, with diagonal projections. Low drum with
raised eaves on axes. Ribbed leaded dome with oval windows in lower part and
columned cupola with vane above.
South front 4 storeys and basement. Enriched entablature and parapet. Slightly
projecting pedimented end bays with pilasters on 3rd floor and quoins below.
All windows sashes with glazing bars and all but ground floor in moulded architraves,
those on 3rd floor shouldered. Console bracketed broken cornices and triple
keystones to 2nd floor windows. Modified Gibbs surround and console bracketed
cornices to 1st floor windows. Windows in outer bays in tall, round arched
recesses with oval attic windows. 3rd floor window in right bay flanked by round
arched niches. Below this, return of inner colonnade 6 pairs of Tuscan columns,
the outer ones square, with entablature and balustraded parapet. West front
arranged in 3 blocks. Red brick with Portland stone dressings, and stone facade
to 3-bay centre, Inner block of 4 storeys and basement, 11 windows. Rebated
angles with inner and outer quoins. 2 square ½-colums and 2 fluted round columns
support Doric entablature and parapet, lower at sides. Gauged brick arches to
recessed sash windows with glazing bars. Tall, round-arched 1st floor centre
window with oval window above. Round arched entrance below. 3-storey, 1-window
links, with windows in open-pedimented entablature surround, to 3-bay end pavilions
under wide segmental pediments. Deep recess with oval window in tympanum. Stone
quoins. Segment headed 2nd floor windows with drip mould and cill band. Round
arched 1st floor windows with cill band. Moulded stone architraves. Segment
headed ground floor windows with spring string.
Inside, the Painted Hall. Vestibule under dome has columns painted in grisaille
and sculpture in pendentives. Flight of steps and screen of composite columns
to Lower Hall of 8 main bays divided by composite pilasters supporting enriched
entablature. All painted in grisaille to give effect of fluted columns and
pilasters, enriched architraves and rosette-panelled reveals, trophies of arms
on West wall and cartouches over doors. 6 steps and proscenium-type arch to
smaller upper hall. Signs of zodiac in high relief on archivolt.
Ceilings painted by Sir James Thornhill between 1708 and 1716. In Eastern bay
figures representing tidal rivers drawn up by the moon around a Spanish galleon
and surrounded by figures of great astronomers. In oval centre William and
Mary surrounded by Virtues, with Louis XIV underfoot, bordered by figures representing
Seasons and Signs of Zodiac (a portrait of an old pensioner of the Hospital introduced
as Winter.) In western arch Vices chased from Heavens by Minerva and Hercules,
around another Spanish Galleon; and figures representing the City of London and
rivers; and Greek scientists.
In Upper Hall ceiling Queen Anne and her consort, Prince George of Denmark, in
a medallion surrounded by Virtues; with sea gods and sea creatures welcoming
the return of the Maritime Agent. 4 side panels of the Continents. Flower pieces
in corners by Charles Lebrun. Walls painted by pupils of Thornhill, allegorical
scenes in grisaille.
Inner courtyard of this building has, on East side, a colonnaded portico with
pediment containing sculptures representing Nelson's battles in Coade stone
by Benjamin West.

Listing NGR: TQ3858977860

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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