The Queen's House
Greenwich SE10 9NF
TfL Fare Zone 2
The Queen’s House is one of the four Royal Museums in Greenwich. There are three museums in Greenwich Park – the Old Greenwich Royal Observatory (ROG), National Maritime Museum (NMM) and the The Queen's House itself and in Cutty Sark Gardens near Greenwich Pier the famous Cutty Sark Sailing Clipper.
The house displays a lot of the Museum’s art collection and other special exhibitions.
The Queen’s House itself, with its fabulous Tulip spiral staircase is, on its own, worth the trip to Greenwich. It has been restored and decorated in the style of the 1660’s and furnished with as much as possible of the original furniture and fittings.
This elegant house, designed by Inigo Jones, was started in 1616 as a home for King James I’s wife, Anne of Denmark, but she died before it was finished. Work stopped for ten years until King Charles I decided to make it a residence for his wife, Henrietta Maria. Inigo Jones was recalled; it was at this time he installed the amazing ‘Tulip Stairs’.
The staircase was the first geometrical self-supporting spiral stair built in Britain. The wrought iron balustrade features flowers described as ‘tulips’ but they are more likely stylized fleurs-de-lis in honour of the French Henrietta Maria.
The house was finished six years later. By this time relations between Charles I and Parliament had deteriorated and the Civil War (1642-51) began. Henrietta didn’t get to live in her house very much and naturally, when her husband was beheaded, she returned to France.
With the Restoration of the Monarchy, King Charles II had the house enlarged supposedly for him to live in while the new palace was being built beside the river. We know that his mother (Henrietta Maria) came back to live in the Queen’s House for a while prior to her death in 1669. It was later used to house the Ranger of Greenwich Park.
No longer a royal residence, Wren’s magnificent buildings were turned into the Royal Naval Hospital and the Queen’s House became a school. In 1816 new wings were built for the school and connected to the house by colonnades. In 1937 it became the National Maritime Museum.
Plan Your Visit
The Queen’s House is currently closed for refurbishment. It is due to re-open on 4 July 2016. For up to date details go to Web: The Queen's House/ Opening Times
Contact & Further Information
+44 (0) 2088 584 422
+44 (0) 2083 126 565 Recorded information
TfL Fare Zone 2 Transport for London Journey Planner
To plan your journey whilst in London, use the Transport for London 'Journey Planner'.
There is excellent 'Getting to the Queen's House Information' on the Queen's House website.
Follow the Tourist Information signs in Cutty Sark Gardens and in Greenwich itself.
Google Maps - The Queen's House