Royal Naval College southwest building, King William's Quarter


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
King William's Quarter, Royal Naval College, Romney Road SE10


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Statutory Address:
King William's Quarter, Royal Naval College, Romney Road SE10

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Greater London Authority
Greenwich (London Borough)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 38589 77860


TQ 3877 26/G107C

ROMNEY ROAD SE10 (North Side) Royal Naval College south west building, King William's Quarter

I Begun 1698 to design of Sir Christopher Wren. Hall, dome and colonnade completed 1703. West front by Vanbrugh 1728.

East (inner front) a long colonnade of paired Tuscan columns with set back, balustraded upper floor above. At north-east corner tower of two stages with drum and dome above. Lower stage square, one-bay with wide open pediment and high round arched window with flanking niches. Upper stage round, of Corinthian columns, with diagonal projections. Low drum with raised eaves on axes. Ribbed leaded dome with oval windows in lower part and columned cupola with vane above.

South front four storeys and basement. Enriched entablature and parapet. Slightly projecting pedimented end bays with pilasters on third floor and quoins below. All windows sashes with glazing bars and all but ground floor in moulded architraves, those on third floor shouldered. Console bracketed broken cornices and triple keystones to second floor windows. Modified Gibbs surround and console bracketed cornices to first floor windows. Windows in outer bays in tall, round arched recesses with oval attic windows. Third floor window in right bay flanked by round arched niches. Below this, return of inner colonnade six pairs of Tuscan columns, the outer ones square, with entablature and balustraded parapet.

West front arranged in three blocks. Red brick with Portland stone dressings, and stone facade to three-bay centre. Inner block of four storeys and basement, eleven windows. Rebated angles with inner and outer quoins. Two square half-columns and two fluted round columns support Doric entablature and parapet, lower at sides. Gauged brick arches to recessed sash windows with glazing bars. Tall, round-arched first floor centre window with oval window above. Round arched entrance below. Three-storey, one-window links, with windows in open-pedimented entablature surround, to three-bay end pavilions under wide segmental pediments. Deep recess with oval window in tympanum. Stone quoins. Segment headed second floor windows with drip mould and cill band. Round arched first floor windows with cill band. Moulded stone architraves. Segment headed ground floor windows with spring string.

Inside, the Painted Hall. Vestibule under dome has columns painted in grisaille and sculpture in pendentives. Flight of steps and screen of composite columns to Lower Hall of eight main bays divided by composite pilasters supporting enriched entablature. All painted in grisaille to give effect of fluted columns and pilasters, enriched architraves and rosette-panelled reveals, trophies of arms on west wall and cartouches over doors. Six steps and proscenium-type arch to smaller upper hall. Signs of zodiac in high relief on archivolt.

Ceilings painted by Sir James Thornhill between 1708 and 1716. In eastern bay figures representing tidal rivers drawn up by the moon around a Spanish galleon and surrounded by figures of great astronomers. In oval centre William and Mary surrounded by Virtues, with Louis XIV underfoot, bordered by figures representing Seasons and Signs of Zodiac (a portrait of an old pensioner of the Hospital introduced as Winter.) In western arch Vices chased from Heavens by Minerva and Hercules, around another Spanish Galleon; and figures representing the City of London and rivers; and Greek scientists.

In Upper Hall ceiling Queen Anne and her consort, Prince George of Denmark, in a medallion surrounded by Virtues; with sea gods and sea creatures welcoming the return of the Maritime Agent. Four side panels of the Continents. Flower pieces in corners by Charles Lebrun. Walls painted by pupils of Thornhill, allegorical scenes in grisaille.

Inner courtyard of this building has, on east side, a colonnaded portico with pediment containing sculptures representing Nelson's battles in Coade stone by Benjamin West.

Listing NGR: TQ3858977860


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 27 Mar 2007
Reference: IOE01/16343/13
Rights: Copyright IoE Ms Frances Ottaway. Source Historic England Archive
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