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View of the Greenwich Hospital School of 1783-84


Object connections:

Gallery locationNot on display
Peopleownership: Beaufoy, Henry B H

Object details:

Object ID PAF2863
Description Mounted with PAF2844-PAF2862, PAF2864-PAF2927.; Page number 20. Though previously noted as a view of Morden College, Blackheath, Peter Guillery of English Heritage has pointed out (January 2011) that it is in fact the Greenwich Hospital school building which replaced the pre-existing one on the east side of King Street (now King William Walk) in 1783-84. It was designed by the Hospital Clerk of Works, William Newton, to accommodate 200 boys. In 1784 the bricks reclaimed from demolition of the previous building were used to construct the perimeter wall on King Street, which can be seen here on either side. The rear colonnade was intended as covered play space and, according to an elevation published in Cooke and Maule's history of the Hospital in 1789, terminated in two open-sided pavilions protruding beyond the ends of the main building. This view looks west from what was then the Hospital's second burial ground, the domed tower behind being that of St Alfege's church, with the roofs of Greenwich spread out rather unrealistically to either side above the boundary wall on King Street. Though the colonnade and the right end bay of Newton's building do not survive, the remainder today forms the south-western rear wing of Devonport House (completed in 1934). A plain Tuscan-order pillar on a rectangular plinth (about a metre high) and topped by a Coade-stone funerary urn, originally stood in the centre of the burial ground on the transverse axis of this building: that is, in line with the centre windows here. The pillar and urn, but not the plinth base which was lost in redevelopment of Devonport House in the 1990s, now stand at the left (south ) end. The 1789 elevation and further information can be found in John Bold's 'Greenwich; an architectural history...' (2000), p. 226. [PvdM 1/11]
Date made 1790s

Artist/Maker Charnock, John
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials pen & wash, grey
Measurements 169 mm x 224 mm
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