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Queen's house in Greenwich
Written by Janani on January 21, 2022 Share on

Queen’s House Greenwich

Are you planning to visit Greenwich, London? Then a visit to the Queen’s House Greenwich is a must as part of your day out in Greenwich. Located a few miles downriver from the then City of London and the present London Borough, the house is one of the most important buildings in British architectural history. It is not just known for its former occupants but also for its present art collection. Read on to know more about this fascinating building in London.

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Queen’s House Greenwich is one of the most important buildings in English architecture. As the name suggests, it is a former royal residence built between 1616 and 1635. The house was commissioned in 1616 by Anne of Denmark, the Queen of King James I. This house is in fact the first consciously built Classical building that brought about a change in British Architecture. This was indeed the first major commission for the architect Inigo Jones after his return from his 1613 -1615 grand tour of Roman, Renaissance, and Palladian architecture in Italy.

Front view of Queen's House
Source: Pixabay

The house was designed to be a Royal retreat by Inigo Jones. The construction of the house was completed in 1638. Unfortunately, Queen Anne of Denmark passed away before the completion of the house. After the completion of the house in 1638, King Charles I presented this House to his then Queen, Henrietta Maria

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What makes Queen’s House Greenwich so special?

Are you wondering what’s so special about this house? And what made it revolutionary to the eyes of the British in its days? I’ve got it covered for you.

The Queen’s House Greenwich is seen to be the introduction of Palladianism into British Architecture by Jones. Although the house differs and diverges from the exact mathematical concepts of Palladio, it is an immediate example of the H-shaped plan. 

House of delights
Source: Pixabay

The Queen’s House is now a  part of Royal Museums in Greenwich that includes the Royal Observatory, Cutty Sark, and the National Maritime Museum. Step through the doors into the perfectly proportioned cube that has a striking marble floor along with a black-and-white geometric design that was originally laid in 1635. The house also displays a wide collection of world-class maritime paintings and British portraits. It indeed holds the largest collection of British portraits outside the National Portrait Gallery. 


The Present-day Queen’s House

Today the house is a scheduled ancient monument – a status that includes the 115-foot-wide (35 m), axial vista to the River Thames. It is also honoured as a Grade I building in England. It is important to note that the house was also used as a VIP centre during the 2012 Olympic Games. 

When you are here, ensure to see and witness the breathtaking new art commission by Turner Prize-winning artist Richard Wright. Also, make sure that you see the Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I.

One of the most important features of the Queen’s House Greenwich is the iconic Tulip Stairs. The stairs represent the Tulip flower and it is the first-ever geometric spiral staircase that was built in Britain. One another notable feature is that the staircase is a self-supporting staircase, unlike others of those days. This means that the staircase was built without a central support. 

Tulip Stairs in Queen's house
Source: Unsplash

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Interesting as that is, the staircase captures more attention for its looks. The stream of light flooding the stairwell from the centralised window above and the elaborate ironwork on its railings makes it an elegant piece of architecture that still enchants visitors even today. When you are here make sure you click and picture with this elegant and enchanting beauty.  

It is highly recommended that you pre-book a guided tour when visiting the Queen’s House Greenwich. This guided tour will take you back in time to learn about the history of the House and Greenwich in general through the artwork on show.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the entrance fee?

The Queen’s House Greenwich is free to visit. They do not have an entrance fee. However, tickets has to be purchased well in advance. Pre-purchase the tickets and arrive in your slot

2. Is there any time limit?

Once you purchase the ticket and you are here in the house, there’s no time limit to visit. You can spend as much as time you want within the house.

3. What are the Covid regulations?

  1. Pre-purchase tickets since only limited people are allowed to avoid crowding.
  2. Masks are mandatory
  3. Pay on shops and cafes only with a card.
  4. Cash is not accepted at the moment.

4. What isn’t allowed inside the house?

Backpacks and large carry bags aren’t allowed inside the house.

5. Are cloakroom and child area open?

The cloakroom and children area are closed due to the existing Covid condition. They might open soon depending on the situation.

6. Are the interactive sessions and touch=pad working in house?

As of now, they are suspended considering the situation. Their management is working to restore them back

7. Are wheelchairs available?

Yes, wheelchairs are available. Contact their bookings team in order to book your wheelchair in advance. 

8. Can I get married here?

Absolutely yes! You heard it right! If you are dreaming to make this House of delight your wedding venue, make sure you contact their bookings team to reserve the house for you and enjoy your big day!

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Hope you enjoyed reading the above article on Queen’s House Greenwich in London. This house is definitely one of the places you must visit when you are in London. Keep reading Pickyourtrail Blogs to know more about such interesting places across the world and plan your ideal vacation.

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