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Maritime Greenwich: A World Heritage Site

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Other buildings of interest

The Ranger's House and Wernher Collection

The Rangers House, Greenwich.
View full size imageThe Rangers House in Greenwich Park, 1781. © NMM
The Ranger's House, at the top of Croom's Hill on the west of the Park, was built about 1700–20 for Captain (later Admiral) Francis Hosier. He was commemorated in the 18th-century political ballad 'Admiral Hosier's Ghost' after he died of fever on the Spanish Main.

The House's most famous occupants were:

Chesterfield added the fine gallery wing by Isaac Ware on the south side, around 1750, later matched by one on the north.

The Ranger's House is run by English Heritage. It is now home to the fabulous Wernher Collection of pictures, furniture, sculpture and other works of art, many from the Renaissance period. This was put together around 1900 by the diamond magnate Sir Julius Wernher.

Vanbrugh Castle, Maze Hill and Park Vista

Bastile House, Greenwich.
View full size imageVanbrugh Castle, Greenwich. © NMM
Vanbrugh Castle, on Maze Hill, to the east of the Park, was built from 1718 by the playwright and architect Sir John Vanbrugh. He lived there after he became Surveyor of Greeenwich Hospital in succession to Sir Christopher Wren.

Sir John Vanbrugh Knt. Comptroller of His Majties Works & Clarenceux King of Arms OB: 26 March 1726 Aet: 60.
View full size imageSir John Vanbrugh (1664-1726). © NMM

This castle-style mansion is the only survivor of a group that Vanbrugh built around it for other members of his family. It now forms several private houses and is not open to the public.

Vanbrugh, who died in London, not at Greenwich, wrote a famous epitaph on himself:

'Lie heavy on him earth, for he
Laid many heavy loads on thee.'

There are some attractive late-17th and early 18th-century houses on the east side of Maze Hill below the Castle. (But there is no 'maze' - this is a version of 'May's Hill'.)

On the west side, backing on to the Park, house numbers 32-40 were originally the Infirmary of the Royal Naval Asylum, which was in the Queen's House from 1806. They stand on the original Greenwich Hospital burial ground (1707–49).

Park Vista, which connects Maze Hill to the National Maritime Museum, also includes early and late-18th-century houses. The wall along much of its length also conceals the former enclosed 'dwarf orchard' of the Queen's House, which is now a wildlife area.

The Chantry (no. 35 Park Vista, a private house) features the restored arms of Henry VIII on what was originally a water tank for the Tudor Palace of Greenwich. The carved wreath on the façade of St Alfege Rectory (no. 33, built in 1829) is also salvage from the Palace.

Croom's Hill

Crooms Hill.
View full size imageCroom's Hill in Greenwich. © NMM
Croom's Hill, on the west side of the Park, is one of the best-preserved historic streets in London.

Greenwich Theatre.
View full size imageGreenwich Theatre. © NMM

The Fan Museum

This private museum, in one of a row of fine town houses built in 1721, is the only one in the world dedicated to the history of fans. It contains an exceptional collection, with a regular programme of exhibitions and other events.

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