Tired of London, Tired of Life - A website about things to do in London



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8 February 2010

Visit the Chapel of St Peter and St Paul, Greenwich

The Chapel of St Peter and St Paul, at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, is opposite Thornhill's famous Painted Hall, and is just as impressive.

Originally completed to the designs of Thomas Ripley in 1751, the chapel was gutted by a fire in 1779, and was redesigned and rebuilt under James ‘Athenian’ Stuart, in the ‘Greek revival’ style, with detailing by his Clerk of Works, William Newton.

The chapel reopened in 1789, and though it has since undergone changes, a 1950 refurbishment means it stands today almost exactly as it did then.

The chapel is open to the public, for free, every day, and is also known for its acoustics so it can be a good idea to try to visit during a choral or organ recital. For more details, see http://www.oldroyalnavalcollege.org/the-chapel/


  1. I am guessing that the Greenwich complex started in the 1690s and yet the first version of the chapel wasn't built until the 1750s. Even ignoring the huge joke of the Hospital being built on the Palace of Placentia's site, I wonder why The Chapel of St Peter and St Paul was the last major element in the Hospital project.

    Probably it is just as well. Otherwise we may not have had such a pure, neo classical look in the chapel.

  2. Hi Hels,

    I feel a bit overwhelmed by your knowledge.

    I am only a simple sort and find the whole chronology of the building of the Old Naval Hospital a bit confusing, so I'm afraid I don't really know.

    It is really pretty though!

  3. ha ha... my knowledge is deep but very very narrow :) I went to a few Cambridge University summer school courses throughout the 1990s and on one memorable occasion, crawled all over Greenwich.

    I am sorry those Summer Schools ended... there was a lot of good learning and a lot of good drinking going on :)

  4. They sound fantastic. Great to hear from someone with such a good insight.