The thumbnails below are linked to larger pictures
Greenwich is famous for its close maritime connections, and Greenwich park together with the exceptional architecture of the state buildings and the charming Georgian Town centre make its designation as a world heritage site well deserved.
Greenwich was the birthplace of henry VIII, Elizabeth I and Mary Tudor and is steeped in Royal History. Even though it is only 4 miles downstream form the Tower of London, it was considered a pleasant escape from the pestillence that was part of life in early central London. There was the Royal Palace of Placentia where the Royal Naval College now stands. There are many sights and Museums to view in Greenwich and following is a brief description of those I visited recently.
The Cutty Sark is only a small museum by comparisson to some, but it is sure to entertain the children and for the adults it recreates the feeling of what a sea voyage in the early clipper sailing boats was like.
The Cutty Sark was launched in November 1869 on the Scottish Clyde and weighed 963 tons. Built initially for the China tea trade this was short lived due to the opening of the Suez Canal which could not be used by sailing ships and its heyday was eventually to be in the Australian wool trade.
After many adventures She was eventually bought and restored in about 1924, by Captain Wilfred Dowman who had seen her in full sail as an apprentice seaman in 1894. On his death his widow presented the ship to the Thames Nautical Training College and she was eventually moved to Greenwich in 1951 for the Festival of Britain.
Enjoy a tour of the ships three deck levels and discover a lot more about the ships history from the photographs and exhibits on display.
The Royal Observatory is located on high ground in Greenwich Park and was founded on 22 June 1675 by King Charles II, specifically to do work which would help resolve the problem of locating your exact position when at sea out of sight of land. John Flamsteed was the first Royal Astronomer in 1675. The Royal Observatory is also the source of the Prime Meridian longitude 0° 0' 0", until the nineteenth century each country tended to keep its own zero meridian.
By the 1930's the smoke and street lights of London made observing from Greenwich Park impossible, so in 1945 the Royal Observatory was moved to Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex and the old abservatory became an extension of the National Maritime Museum.
The National Maritime Museum was opened to the public by king George VI on 27 April 1937, the collections comprise about two million items many on loan to museums elsewhere in Britain. The Museum has the largest archives in the world on the history of Britain at sea, including maritime art, cartography, manuscripts, ship models, instruments and many other categories including the worlds largest maritime historical reference library.