Login






I've forgotten my password
Knole U3A

Dates for your diary

Science Open Group (Sevenoaks U3A)
9th December 2019 14:00 - 16:00

Coffee Morning
12th December 2019 10:30

Computer Open Group (Sevenoaks U3A)
16th December 2019 14:00 - 16:00

New Year Lunch
6th 12:30 - 7th January 2020 15:00

Science Open Group
9th January 2020 14:30 - 16:30

London Studies 1 hear all about the symbolism of the Painted Hall

27th November 2019

London Studies 1 hear all about the symbolism of the Painted Hall

The November visit by London Studies 1 to the Old Royal Naval College, ably led by Anne Green, was a particularly fascinating educational experience as the group was given an excellent talk on the symbolism behind the painted interior of the Painted Hall. The Hall was built as a grand ceremonial dining room for the Royal Hospital Naval Pensioners. Sir James Thornhill’s painted interior is considered to be the masterpiece of English Baroque art. The main ceiling features William III and Mary II, the founders of the Royal Hospital and celebrates Britain” political stability, commercial prosperity and particularly, its naval power. The Painted Hall has recently been reopened after a major restoration programme.

The talk we were given by the very well informed guide explained in some detail the complex symbolism of the paintings, which without a guide would be lost to most people today. We particularly liked being informed about the symbolism behind the image of the painter himself. Thornhill was commission to paint the Hall in 1707 when he was only 27, and it took some 19 years to complete some 40,000 square feet of painting. He received a knighthood and payment of £6,685 for his efforts, but his image hints that he felt this sum was insufficient!

The Old Naval College is certainly well worth a visit to see the Painted Hall especially as the location has a lot to offer for a day trip including the opportunity to have a game of skittles at the Skittle Alley created in the 1860s to give the Naval Pensioners some exercise, visit the nearby Queen’s House (also recently restored and free to visit), and one of the best views of London from the Royal Observatory.

  • The Skittle Alley
    The Skittle Alley
  • greenwich8.jpg
  • greenwich10.jpg
  • Sir James Thornhill
    Sir James Thornhill
  • greenwich5.jpg
  • The Skittle Alley
  • greenwich8.jpg
  • greenwich10.jpg
  • Sir James Thornhill
  • greenwich5.jpg

Registered Charity No. 1166210 

Errors or omissions? 

Please contact webmaster@knoleu3a.org.uk