This splendid 17th-century royal villa was the first Classical building in England, designed by renowned architect Inigo Jones.

Venue History

Inigo Jones designed the beautiful Queen’s House Greenwich, bringing Classical architecture to England in the process. The Queen’s House in Greenwich is one of the most interesting buildings in the country. It is important architecturally, and it is famous for its former occupants and its art collection. The Queen’s House even has its own ghost – if legend is to be believed.

The famous architect Inigo Jones was commissioned to design the building in 1616 by King James I’s wife, Anne of Denmark – supposedly a gift from the king to apologise for swearing in front of her after she has accidentally killed one of his favourite dogs during a hunt.

Anne of Denmark never lived to see Inigo Jones’s progressive Classical design realised, dying in 1619 with only the first floor completed. It was not until 1629, when James’s son Charles I gave Greenwich to his wife Henriette Maria that works on it resumed.

The Queen’s House was completed around 1636 and is considered remarkable for its break with the traditional, red-brick Tudor style of building, and for its elegant proportions and the high quality of its interiors. It was the first fully Classical building in England.

The start of the Civil War in 1642 meant that Henrietta Maria has little time to enjoy it – she went into exile, her husband executed and his property seized by the state, although she did eventually return after the restoration in 1660.

It was used by members of the royal family until 1805, when George III granted the Queen’s House to a charity for the orphans of seamen, called the Royal Naval Asylum. This remained until 1933, when the school moved to Suffolk. It was taken over by the National Maritime Museum in 1934.

The Queen’s House is famous today for its extraordinary art collection including works by Great Masters such as Gainsborough, Reynolds, Turner and Hogarth. Its connection with artists goes all the way back to 1673, when two Dutch maritime painters the van de Veldes were given studio space by Chalres II.

 

Venue Overview

Located in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage site at Greenwich, the National Maritime Museum’s five unique venues provide a tranquil setting for any event, whilst being only 20 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Designed by Inigo Jones in 1616 the Queen’s House was the first wholly classical building in the UK and the former royal palace of Queen Anne. The Queen’s House is an elegant venue for corporate dinners which require an air of distinction. The Great Hall features the original black and white marble flooring and commanding views over the Thames. The Orangery and South Parlours have views over Greenwich Royal Park and are an ideal entry point for reception drinks. After dinner, guests can enjoy private telescope viewings or retreat to the Undercroft for dancing or post-dinner drinks.

 

Venue Features

Fantastic views over the Thames and Greenwich Royal Park

A rich art collection to explore

Original architectural features including the Tulip Stairs from the 1600’s

Curator tours available

Private telescope viewings available with a qualified astronomer

On-site parking for up to 80 vehicles

List of approved caterers and production suppliers

 

Venue Capacity

Banquet 120

Reception 150

Theatre style 120