This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Maritime Greenwich

World Heritage Site Summary

World Heritage Site inscribed by the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO in 1997.

Name: Maritime Greenwich

Brief Description:

The ensemble of buildings at Greenwich, an outlying district of London, and the park in which they are set, symbolize English artistic and scientific endeavour in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Queen's House (by Inigo Jones) was the first Palladian building in England, while the complex that was until recently the Royal Naval College was designed by Christopher Wren. The park, laid out on the basis of an original design by Andr‚ Le N“tre, contains the Old Royal Observatory, the work of Wren and the scientist Robert Hooke.

Criteria:

This entry is compiled from information provided by UNESCO who hold the official record for all World Heritage Sites at their Paris Head Quarters. This entry is provided for information only and those requiring further assistance should contact the World Heritage Centre at UNESCO.

Criterion (i): The public and private buildings and the Royal Park at Greenwich form an exceptional ensemble that bears witness to human artistic and creative endeavour of the highest quality.

Criterion (ii): Maritime Greenwich bears witness to European architecture at an important stage of its evolution, exemplified by the work of great architects such as Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren who, inspired by developments on the continent of Europe, each shaped the architectural development of subsequent generations, while the Park exemplifies the interaction of man and nature over two centuries.

Criterion (iv): The Palace, Royal Naval College, and Royal Park demonstrate the power, patronage, and influence of the Crown in the 17th and 18th centuries and its illustration through the ability to plan and integrate culture and nature into an harmonious whole.

Criterion (vi): Greenwich is associated with outstanding architectural and artistic achievements as well as with scientific endeavour of the highest quality through the development of navigation and astronomy at the Royal Observatory, leading to the establishment of the Greenwich Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time as world standards.

Statement of Significance:

Symmetrically arranged alongside the River Thames, the ensemble of the 17th century Queen's House, part of the last Royal Palace at Greenwich, the palatial Baroque complex of the Royal Hospital for seamen, and the Royal Observatory founded in 1675 and surrounded by the Royal Park laid out in the 1660s by Andr‚ Le N“tre, reflects two centuries of Royal patronage and represents a high point of the work of the architects Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren, and more widely European architecture at an important stage in its evolution. It also symbolises English artistic and scientific endeavour in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Greenwich town, which grew up at the gates of the Royal Palace, provides, with its villas and formal stuccoed terraces set around Nicholas Hawksmoor's St Alphege's church, a setting and approach for the main ensemble.

Inigo Jones' Queen's House as the first Palladian building in Britain was also the direct inspiration for classical houses and villas all over the country in the two centuries after it was built.

The Royal Hospital, laid out to a master plan developed by Christopher Wren and built over many decades by him and other leading architects, including Nicholas Hawksmoor, is among the most outstanding group of Baroque buildings in England.

The Royal Park is a masterpiece of the application of symmetrical landscape design to irregular terrain by Andre Le Notre.

The Royal Observatory's astronomical work, particularly of the scientist Robert Hooke, and John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal, permitted the accurate measurement of the earth's movement and also contributed to the development of global navigation. The Observatory is now the baseline for the world's time zone system and for the measurement of longitude around the globe.

Criterion (i): The public and private buildings and the Royal Park at Greenwich form an exceptional ensemble that bears witness to human artistic and creative endeavour of the highest quality.

Criterion (ii): Maritime Greenwich bears witness to European architecture at an important stage of its evolution, exemplified by the work of great architects such as Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren who, inspired by developments on the continent of Europe, each shaped the architectural development of subsequent generations, while the Park exemplifies the interaction of man and nature over two centuries.

Criterion (iv): The Palace, Royal Naval College, and Royal Park demonstrate the power, patronage, and influence of the Crown in the 17th and 18th centuries and its illustration through the ability to plan and integrate culture and nature into an harmonious whole.

Criterion (vi): Greenwich is associated with outstanding architectural and artistic achievements as well as with scientific endeavour of the highest quality through the development of navigation and astronomy at the Royal Observatory, leading to the establishment of the Greenwich Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time as world standards.

Statement of Outstanding Universal Value:

Draft Statements of Outstanding Universal Value have been submitted by DCMS in February 2011 for consideration by the World Heritage Committee.

Justification for Inscription:

Date of Inscription: 1997

Date of most recent amendment: 2008

Other Information:

This site is a cultural site in England.

There is a World Heritage Site Management Plan (2004) for the site and a World Heritage Site coordinator is responsible for implementing the objectives and action plan. A Steering Group made up of key stakeholders provides a strategic forum and oversees World Heritage activities.

Map/Chart

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1000096 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 28-May-2017 at 05:52:25.

End of official listing