The Queen's House


Park Row, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF


020-8858 4422



Opening times:

Daily 10:00-17:00

How to get there:

Tube: Cutty Sark

Entry fee:


The Queen’s House, a perfectly proportioned architectural masterpiece, is usually taken as the first—and one of the finest—truly classical Renaissance buildings in England. Designed by the great architect Inigo Jones on his return from his influential last trip to Italy, it symbolises the refined aesthetic of the early Stuart court. The Queen’s House was in fact built in three main stages for successive queen consorts: Anne of Denmark, wife of James I; Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I; and Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II. Anne of Denmark was granted Greenwich as her private residence in 1613 and commissioned the building in 1616. It stands almost exactly on the site of the gatehouse of the old Tudor palace, which marked the demarcation between the private palace gardens and Greenwich Park, to which the queen desired easy access. The Queen’s House is in fact two buildings, one on the palace side, the other on the park side, linked by first-floor bridges which span what was then a public highway. On Anne’s death in 1619 only the bottom storeys of the two blocks were complete. In 1629 Greenwich was granted to Henrietta Maria, and work resumed. Between 1629 and 1638 the upper storeys were added, including the central bridge room and the elegant loggia overlooking the park, and a programme of elaborate interior decoration was undertaken.

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Update from The Queen's House

Reopens for the 400th anniversary in July 2016
Painting returns after 360 years

In preparation for the 400th anniversary in 2016 of its commissioning and design the Queen’s House will be closed for refurbishment from 27 July 2015.  When the House re-opens on 4 July 2016 visitors will be able to see Orazio Gentileschi’s Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife displayed in this iconic building for the first time since 1650.  The painting, which is part of the Royal Collection, was one of a sequence commissioned for the Queen’s House by King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria.

Designed by Inigo Jones in 1616 for the wife of James I, Anne of Denmark, the Queen’s House was the first classical building in the country and is an acknowledged masterpiece of 17th-century architecture.  The closure gives Royal Museums Greenwich the opportunity to refurbish galleries, including the King’s Presence Chamber and the Tulip Stairs, as well as introducing new displays and colour schemes, bespoke lighting and new interpretation.  The window-glazing and flooring of the Grade I listed building will also be upgraded, improving both the external and internal appearance of the House.

The ceiling in the King’s Presence Chamber will be restored to its royal splendour, complementing the Queen’s Presence Chamber which was restored in 2013.  Both rooms will have a bold new colour on the walls; bright blue for the King’s and bright red for the Queen’s, as befits their 17th-century majesty.  These rooms will be adorned with paintings illustrating the kings, queens, consorts and courtiers associated with the House and Greenwich during this period, including Charles I and Henrietta Maria by Daniel Mytens, also generously loaned from the Royal Collection by Her Majesty The Queen.  The focus throughout will be on the iconic people and events, artists, designers and architects that are key to understanding the building’s history, and its significance today.

Finding inspiration in the House’s past, the re-displays will also capitalize on the great strengths of the National Maritime Museum’s (NMM) world-class art collection, along with significant loans from both public and private collections.  As an overarching principle the displays and interpretation will chart the changing relationship between the Queen’s House, the people who created it and those who lived and worked there, from royalty and courtiers to the Navy.

This exciting project gives Royal Museums Greenwich the opportunity to celebrate the international and historically important building for its 400th anniversary and for the House, in its modern role as the Museum’s prime fine-art venue, to showcase the NMM’s outstanding art collection.

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Details below are taken from our Blue Guide Museums and Galleries of London.  This is a 2005 title, here generally updated for website address and opening times, with useful comments from some of the museums themselves.  More recent information is given in Emily Barber's magisterial new Blue Guide London, "Exceptional update to a classic and useful guide to this amazing city" (Amazon reader review).

FULL LISTING of CURRENT EXHIBITIONS in London from Apollo Magazine »

Emily Barber recommends five major London museums »

Please do share your comments and updates with us via the form below the entry for each museum.


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Wesley's Chapel
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Saatchi Gallery
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The Royal Mews
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The Faraday Museum
Royal Hospital Chelsea
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Royal Academy of Music Museum
Royal Academy of Arts
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The Queen’s Gallery
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