Greenwich
Overview
 
Greenwich is a district of south
South London
South London is the southern part of London, England, United Kingdom.According to the 2011 official Boundary Commission for England definition, South London includes the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Greenwich, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Southwark, Sutton and...

 London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich
London Borough of Greenwich
The London Borough of Greenwich is an Inner London borough in south-east London, England. Taking its name from the historic town of Greenwich, the present borough was formed in 1965 by the amalgamation of the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich with part of the Metropolitan...

.

Greenwich is best known for its maritime history
Maritime history
Maritime history is the study of human activity at sea. It covers a broad thematic element of history that often uses a global approach, although national and regional histories remain predominant...

 and for giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian (0° longitude) and Greenwich Mean Time
Greenwich Mean Time
Greenwich Mean Time is a term originally referring to mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. It is arguably the same as Coordinated Universal Time and when this is viewed as a time zone the name Greenwich Mean Time is especially used by bodies connected with the United...

. The town became the site of a Royal palace, the Palace of Placentia
Palace of Placentia
The Palace of Placentia was an English Royal Palace built by Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester in 1447, in Greenwich, on the banks of the River Thames, downstream from London...

 from the 15th century, and was the birthplace of many in the House of Tudor, including Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 and Elizabeth I. The palace fell into disrepair during the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

 and was rebuilt as the Royal Naval Hospital for Sailors by Sir Christopher Wren
Christopher Wren
Sir Christopher Wren FRS is one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history.He used to be accorded responsibility for rebuilding 51 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including his masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral, on Ludgate Hill, completed in 1710...

 and his assistant Nicholas Hawksmoor
Nicholas Hawksmoor
Nicholas Hawksmoor was a British architect born in Nottinghamshire, probably in East Drayton.-Life:Hawksmoor was born in Nottinghamshire in 1661, into a yeoman farming family, almost certainly in East Drayton, Nottinghamshire. On his death he was to leave property at nearby Ragnall, Dunham and a...

.
Discussions
Encyclopedia
Greenwich is a district of south
South London
South London is the southern part of London, England, United Kingdom.According to the 2011 official Boundary Commission for England definition, South London includes the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Greenwich, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Southwark, Sutton and...

 London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich
London Borough of Greenwich
The London Borough of Greenwich is an Inner London borough in south-east London, England. Taking its name from the historic town of Greenwich, the present borough was formed in 1965 by the amalgamation of the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich with part of the Metropolitan...

.

Greenwich is best known for its maritime history
Maritime history
Maritime history is the study of human activity at sea. It covers a broad thematic element of history that often uses a global approach, although national and regional histories remain predominant...

 and for giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian (0° longitude) and Greenwich Mean Time
Greenwich Mean Time
Greenwich Mean Time is a term originally referring to mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. It is arguably the same as Coordinated Universal Time and when this is viewed as a time zone the name Greenwich Mean Time is especially used by bodies connected with the United...

. The town became the site of a Royal palace, the Palace of Placentia
Palace of Placentia
The Palace of Placentia was an English Royal Palace built by Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester in 1447, in Greenwich, on the banks of the River Thames, downstream from London...

 from the 15th century, and was the birthplace of many in the House of Tudor, including Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 and Elizabeth I. The palace fell into disrepair during the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

 and was rebuilt as the Royal Naval Hospital for Sailors by Sir Christopher Wren
Christopher Wren
Sir Christopher Wren FRS is one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history.He used to be accorded responsibility for rebuilding 51 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including his masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral, on Ludgate Hill, completed in 1710...

 and his assistant Nicholas Hawksmoor
Nicholas Hawksmoor
Nicholas Hawksmoor was a British architect born in Nottinghamshire, probably in East Drayton.-Life:Hawksmoor was born in Nottinghamshire in 1661, into a yeoman farming family, almost certainly in East Drayton, Nottinghamshire. On his death he was to leave property at nearby Ragnall, Dunham and a...

. These buildings became the Royal Naval College
Old Royal Naval College
The Old Royal Naval College is the architectural centrepiece of Maritime Greenwich, a World Heritage Site in Greenwich, London, described by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation as being of “outstanding universal value” and reckoned to be the “finest and most...

 in 1873, and they remained an establishment for military education until 1998 when they passed into the hands of the Greenwich Foundation. The historic rooms within these buildings remain open to the public; other buildings are used by University of Greenwich
University of Greenwich
The University of Greenwich is a British university located in the London Borough of Greenwich, London, England. The main campus is located on the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College, a central location within the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site.-History:The history of the...

 and the Trinity College of Music
Trinity College of Music
Trinity College of Music is one of the London music conservatories, based in Greenwich. It is part of Trinity Laban.The conservatoire is inheritor of elegant riverside buildings of the former Greenwich Hospital, designed in part by Sir Christopher Wren...

.

The town became a popular resort in the 17th century with many grand houses, such as Vanbrugh castle established on Maze Hill, next to the park. From the Georgian period estates of houses were constructed above the town centre. The maritime connections of Greenwich were celebrated in the 20th century, with the sitting of the Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark
The Cutty Sark is a clipper ship. Built in 1869, she served as a merchant vessel , and then as a training ship until being put on public display in 1954...

 and Gipsy Moth IV
Gipsy Moth IV
Gipsy Moth IV is a yawl that Sir Francis Chichester commissioned specifically to sail single-handed around the globe, racing against the times set by the clipper ships of the 19th century.-Background and design:...

 next to the river front, and the National Maritime Museum
National Maritime Museum
The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England is the leading maritime museum of the United Kingdom and may be the largest museum of its kind in the world. The historic buildings forming part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, it also incorporates the Royal Observatory, Greenwich,...

 in the former buildings of the Royal Hospital School
Royal Hospital School
The Royal Hospital School, , is a British co-educational independent boarding school with naval traditions. It admits pupils from age 11 to 18 through Common Entrance or the school's own exam...

 in 1934. Greenwich formed part of Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

 until 1889 when the County of London
County of London
The County of London was a county of England from 1889 to 1965, corresponding to the area known today as Inner London. It was created as part of the general introduction of elected county government in England, by way of the Local Government Act 1888. The Act created an administrative County of...

 was created.

Toponomy

Grenewic, or Grenevic originates with the Saxons, and is literally the green village or the village on the green. It became known as East Greenwich to distinguish it from West Greenwich or Deptford Strond, the part of Deptford
Deptford
Deptford is a district of south London, England, located on the south bank of the River Thames. It is named after a ford of the River Ravensbourne, and from the mid 16th century to the late 19th was home to Deptford Dockyard, the first of the Royal Navy Dockyards.Deptford and the docks are...

 adjacent to the Thames, but the use of East Greenwich to mean the whole of the town of Greenwich died out in the 19th century. However, Greenwich was divided into the two Poor Law Union
Poor Law Union
A Poor Law Union was a unit used for local government in the United Kingdom from the 19th century. The administration of the Poor Law was the responsibility of parishes, which varied wildly in their size, populations, financial resources, rateable values and requirements...

s of Greenwich East and Greenwich West from the beginning of Civil registration in 1837, the boundary running down what is now Greenwich Church Street and Crooms Hill, although more modern references to "East" and "West" Greenwich probably refer to the areas east and west of the Royal Naval College
Old Royal Naval College
The Old Royal Naval College is the architectural centrepiece of Maritime Greenwich, a World Heritage Site in Greenwich, London, described by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation as being of “outstanding universal value” and reckoned to be the “finest and most...

 and National Maritime Museum
National Maritime Museum
The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England is the leading maritime museum of the United Kingdom and may be the largest museum of its kind in the world. The historic buildings forming part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, it also incorporates the Royal Observatory, Greenwich,...

 corresponding with the West Greenwich council ward. An article in The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

of 13 October 1967 stated:
East Greenwich, gateway to the Blackwall Tunnel
Blackwall Tunnel
The Blackwall Tunnel is a pair of road tunnels underneath the River Thames in east London, linking the London Borough of Tower Hamlets with the London Borough of Greenwich, and part of the A102 road. The northern portal lies just south of the East India Dock Road in Blackwall; the southern...

, remains solidly working class
Working class
Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs , often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes...

, the manpower for one eighth of London's heavy industry
Heavy industry
Heavy industry does not have a single fixed meaning as compared to light industry. It can mean production of products which are either heavy in weight or in the processes leading to their production. In general, it is a popular term used within the name of many Japanese and Korean firms, meaning...

. West Greenwich is a hybrid: the spirit of Nelson, the Cutty Sark, the Maritime Museum, an industrial waterfront and a number of elegant houses, ripe for development.

Early settlement

Tumuli
Tumulus
A tumulus is a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves. Tumuli are also known as barrows, burial mounds, Hügelgrab or kurgans, and can be found throughout much of the world. A tumulus composed largely or entirely of stones is usually referred to as a cairn...

 to the south-west of Flamsteed House, in Greenwich Park
Greenwich Park
Greenwich Park is a former hunting park in Greenwich and one of the largest single green spaces in south east London. One of the Royal Parks of London, and the first to be enclosed , it covers , and is part of the Greenwich World Heritage Site. It commands fine views over the River Thames, Isle of...

, are thought to be early Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 barrows re-used by the Saxons in the 6th century as burial grounds. To the east between the Vanbrugh and Maze Hill Gates is the site of a Roman villa or temple. A small area of red paving tesserae protected by railings marks the spot. It was excavated in 1902 and 300 coins were found dating from the emperors Claudius
Claudius
Claudius , was Roman Emperor from 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was the son of Drusus and Antonia Minor. He was born at Lugdunum in Gaul and was the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy...

 and Honorius
Honorius (emperor)
Honorius , was Western Roman Emperor from 395 to 423. He was the younger son of emperor Theodosius I and his first wife Aelia Flaccilla, and brother of the eastern emperor Arcadius....

 to the 4th century. This was excavated by the Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

 programme Time Team
Time Team
Time Team is a British television series which has been aired on Channel 4 since 1994. Created by television producer Tim Taylor and presented by actor Tony Robinson, each episode features a team of specialists carrying out an archaeological dig over a period of three days, with Robinson explaining...

 in 2000, and further investigations were made by the same group in 2003.

The Roman road
Roman road
The Roman roads were a vital part of the development of the Roman state, from about 500 BC through the expansion during the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. Roman roads enabled the Romans to move armies and trade goods and to communicate. The Roman road system spanned more than 400,000 km...

 from London to Dover
Dover
Dover is a town and major ferry port in the home county of Kent, in South East England. It faces France across the narrowest part of the English Channel, and lies south-east of Canterbury; east of Kent's administrative capital Maidstone; and north-east along the coastline from Dungeness and Hastings...

, Watling Street
Watling Street
Watling Street is the name given to an ancient trackway in England and Wales that was first used by the Britons mainly between the modern cities of Canterbury and St Albans. The Romans later paved the route, part of which is identified on the Antonine Itinerary as Iter III: "Item a Londinio ad...

 crossed the high ground to the south of Greenwich, through Blackheath. This followed the line of an earlier Celt
Celt
The Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Roman-era Europe who spoke Celtic languages.The earliest archaeological culture commonly accepted as Celtic, or rather Proto-Celtic, was the central European Hallstatt culture , named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria....

ic route from Canterbury
Canterbury
Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city, which lies at the heart of the City of Canterbury, a district of Kent in South East England. It lies on the River Stour....

 to St Albans
St Albans
St Albans is a city in southern Hertfordshire, England, around north of central London, which forms the main urban area of the City and District of St Albans. It is a historic market town, and is now a sought-after dormitory town within the London commuter belt...

. As late as Henry V
Henry V of England
Henry V was King of England from 1413 until his death at the age of 35 in 1422. He was the second monarch belonging to the House of Lancaster....

, Greenwich was only a fishing town, with a safe anchorage in the river.

Alphege and the Danes

During the reign of Ethelred the Unready
Ethelred the Unready
Æthelred the Unready, or Æthelred II , was king of England . He was son of King Edgar and Queen Ælfthryth. Æthelred was only about 10 when his half-brother Edward was murdered...

, the Danish fleet anchored in the river Thames off Greenwich for over three years, with the army being encamped on the hill above. From here they attacked Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

, and in the year 1012, took the city of Canterbury
Canterbury
Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city, which lies at the heart of the City of Canterbury, a district of Kent in South East England. It lies on the River Stour....

, making Alphege
Alphege
Ælfheah , officially remembered by the name Alphege within some churches, and also called Elphege, Alfege, or Godwine, was an Anglo-Saxon Bishop of Winchester, later Archbishop of Canterbury. He became an anchorite before being elected abbot of Bath Abbey...

 the Archbishop their prisoner for seven months in their camp at Greenwich. They stoned him to death for his refusal to allow his ransom (3,000 pieces of silver) to be paid and kept his body, until the blossoming of a stick that had been immersed in his blood. For this miracle his body was released to his followers, he achieved sainthood for his martyrdom, and in the 12th century the parish church was dedicated to him. The present church on the site west of the town centre is St Alfege's Church
St Alfege's Church, Greenwich
St Alfege Church is a Church of England place of worship in the town centre of Greenwich in the eponymous London Borough.-History:The church is dedicated to, and reputedly marks the place where Alfege , Archbishop of Canterbury, was killed by Viking raiders on 19 April 1012.The second church built...

, designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor
Nicholas Hawksmoor
Nicholas Hawksmoor was a British architect born in Nottinghamshire, probably in East Drayton.-Life:Hawksmoor was born in Nottinghamshire in 1661, into a yeoman farming family, almost certainly in East Drayton, Nottinghamshire. On his death he was to leave property at nearby Ragnall, Dunham and a...

 in 1714 and completed in 1718. Some vestiges of the Danish camps may be traced in the names of Eastcombe and Westcombe
Westcombe Park
This article is about the London district. See Westcombe Park rugby club for details of the rugby club - now based in Orpington.Westcombe Park is a largely residential area in Blackheath in the London Borough of Greenwich, south-east London, England....

, on the borders of nearby Blackheath
Blackheath, London
Blackheath is a district of South London, England. It is named from the large open public grassland which separates it from Greenwich to the north and Lewisham to the west...

.

Royal Greenwich

The Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

 records the manor of Greenwich as held by the Bishop Odo of Bayeux; his lands were seized by the crown in 1082. A royal palace, or hunting lodge, has existed here since before 1300, when Edward I is known to have made offerings at the chapel of the Virgin Mary. Subsequent monarchs were regular visitors, with Henry IV
Henry IV of England
Henry IV was King of England and Lord of Ireland . He was the ninth King of England of the House of Plantagenet and also asserted his grandfather's claim to the title King of France. He was born at Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire, hence his other name, Henry Bolingbroke...

 making his will here, and Henry V granting the manor (for life) to Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter
Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter
Thomas Beaufort, 1st Duke of Exeter, KG was an English military commander during the Hundred Years' War, and briefly Chancellor of England. He was the third of four children; the son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and his mistress Katherine Swynford...

, who died at Greenwich in 1417. The palace was created by Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester
Humphrey of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Gloucester, 1st Earl of Pembroke, KG , also known as Humphrey Plantagenet, was "son, brother and uncle of kings", being the fourth and youngest son of king Henry IV of England by his first wife, Mary de Bohun, brother to king Henry V of England, and uncle to the...

, the regent to Henry VI
Henry VI of England
Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. Until 1437, his realm was governed by regents. Contemporaneous accounts described him as peaceful and pious, not suited for the violent dynastic civil wars, known as the Wars...

 in 1447; enclosing the park and erecting a tower on the spot of the Royal Observatory
Royal Observatory, Greenwich
The Royal Observatory, Greenwich , in London, England played a major role in the history of astronomy and navigation, and is best known as the location of the prime meridian...

. It was renamed the Palace of Placentia
Palace of Placentia
The Palace of Placentia was an English Royal Palace built by Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester in 1447, in Greenwich, on the banks of the River Thames, downstream from London...

 or Pleasaunce by Henry VI
Henry VI of England
Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. Until 1437, his realm was governed by regents. Contemporaneous accounts described him as peaceful and pious, not suited for the violent dynastic civil wars, known as the Wars...

's consort Margaret of Anjou
Margaret of Anjou
Margaret of Anjou was the wife of King Henry VI of England. As such, she was Queen consort of England from 1445 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471; and Queen consort of France from 1445 to 1453...

 after Humphrey's death. The palace was completed and further enlarged by Edward IV
Edward IV of England
Edward IV was King of England from 4 March 1461 until 3 October 1470, and again from 11 April 1471 until his death. He was the first Yorkist King of England...

, and in 1466 it was granted to his Queen, Elizabeth
Elizabeth Woodville
Elizabeth Woodville was Queen consort of England as the spouse of King Edward IV from 1464 until his death in 1483. Elizabeth was a key figure in the series of dynastic civil wars known as the Wars of the Roses. Her first husband, Sir John Grey of Groby was killed at the Second Battle of St Albans...

.

The palace was the principal residence of Henry VII
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

, and his sons, Henry (later Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

) and Edmund Tudor
Edmund Tudor, Duke of Somerset
Edmund Tudor, Duke of Somerset was the sixth child of Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York.Edmund's elder siblings were Arthur, Prince of Wales, Margaret, queen consort of Scotland, Henry VIII of England, Elizabeth and Mary, Queen consort of France...

 were born here, and baptised in St Alphege's. Henry favoured Greenwich over nearby Eltham Palace
Eltham Palace
Eltham Palace is a large house in Eltham, within the London Borough of Greenwich, South East London, England. It is an unoccupied royal residence and owned by the Crown Estate. In 1995 its management was handed over to English Heritage which restored the building in 1999 and opened it to the public...

, the former principal royal palace. Both Mary
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

 (February 18, 1516) and Elizabeth
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 (September 7, 1533) were born at Greenwich. The palace of Placentia, in turn, became Elizabeth's favourite summer residence.

During the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

, the palace was used as a biscuit factory and prisoner of war camp, then with the Interregnum
English Interregnum
The English Interregnum was the period of parliamentary and military rule by the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell under the Commonwealth of England after the English Civil War...

, the palace and park were seized to become a 'mansion' for the Lord Protector
Lord Protector
Lord Protector is a title used in British constitutional law for certain heads of state at different periods of history. It is also a particular title for the British Heads of State in respect to the established church...

. At The Restoration, the Palace of Placentia had fallen into disuse and was pulled down. New buildings began to be established as a grand palace for Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

, but only the King Charles block was completed. It was suggested that the buildings be adapted for a Greenwich Hospital, designed by Wren
Christopher Wren
Sir Christopher Wren FRS is one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history.He used to be accorded responsibility for rebuilding 51 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including his masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral, on Ludgate Hill, completed in 1710...

, and later completed by Hawksmoor. Anne of Denmark
Anne of Denmark
Anne of Denmark was queen consort of Scotland, England, and Ireland as the wife of King James VI and I.The second daughter of King Frederick II of Denmark, Anne married James in 1589 at the age of fourteen and bore him three children who survived infancy, including the future Charles I...

 had a house
Queen's House
The Queen's House, Greenwich, is a former royal residence built between 1614-1617 in Greenwich, then a few miles downriver from London, and now a district of the city. Its architect was Inigo Jones, for whom it was a crucial early commission, for Anne of Denmark, the queen of King James I of England...

 built by Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones is the first significant British architect of the modern period, and the first to bring Italianate Renaissance architecture to England...

 on the hill above, now overlooking the hospital and river – the present centrepiece of the National Maritime Museum
National Maritime Museum
The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England is the leading maritime museum of the United Kingdom and may be the largest museum of its kind in the world. The historic buildings forming part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, it also incorporates the Royal Observatory, Greenwich,...

, founded in 1934 and housed in the buildings of the former Royal Hospital School
Royal Hospital School
The Royal Hospital School, , is a British co-educational independent boarding school with naval traditions. It admits pupils from age 11 to 18 through Common Entrance or the school's own exam...

.

The Royal association with Greenwich was now broken, but the group of buildings remain that form the core of the World Historic Site.

To mark the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II
Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II
The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II is the forthcoming international celebration in 2012 marking the 60th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the thrones of seven countries, upon the death of her father, King George VI, on 6 February 1952...

, it was announced on 5 January 2010 that in 2012, the London Borough of Greenwich
London Borough of Greenwich
The London Borough of Greenwich is an Inner London borough in south-east London, England. Taking its name from the historic town of Greenwich, the present borough was formed in 1965 by the amalgamation of the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich with part of the Metropolitan...

 is to become the fourth to have Royal Borough status. The three others being The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames is a borough in southwest London, England. The main town is Kingston upon Thames and it includes Surbiton, Chessington, New Malden and Tolworth. It is the oldest of the three Royal Boroughs in England, the others are Kensington and Chelsea, also in London,...

, The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is a central London borough of Royal borough status. After the City of Westminster, it is the wealthiest borough in England....

 and The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead is a Royal Borough of Berkshire, in South East England. It became a unitary authority on 1 April 1998.It is home to Windsor Castle, Eton College, Legoland and Ascot Racecourse....

 Royal Borough. Due to its historic links with the Royal Family
Monarchy of the United Kingdom
The monarchy of the United Kingdom is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories. The present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, has reigned since 6 February 1952. She and her immediate family undertake various official, ceremonial and representational duties...

, and its status as home of the Prime Meridian and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Governance

Greenwich is covered by the Greenwich West and Peninsula wards of the London Borough of Greenwich, which was formed in 1965 by merging the former Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich
Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich
The Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich was a Metropolitan borough in the County of London between 1900 and 1965. Within the area of the borough were the Royal Naval College , the Royal Observatory and Greenwich Park. It bordered the boroughs of Woolwich, Deptford, Lewisham...

 with that part of the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich
Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich
The Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich was a Metropolitan borough in the County of London from 1900 to 1965.-Formation:The borough was formed from the civil parishes :*Eltham *Plumstead...

 which lay south of The Thames. Along with Blackheath
Blackheath, London
Blackheath is a district of South London, England. It is named from the large open public grassland which separates it from Greenwich to the north and Lewisham to the west...

 Westcombe, Charlton
Charlton, London
Charlton is a district of south London, England, and part of the London Borough of Greenwich. It is located east-southeast of Charing Cross. Charlton next Woolwich was an ancient parish in the county of Kent, which became part of the metropolitan area of London in 1855. It is home to Charlton...

, Glyndon, Woolwich
Woolwich
Woolwich is a district in south London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.Woolwich formed part of Kent until 1889 when the County of London was created...

 Riverside, and Woolwich Common
Woolwich Common
Woolwich Common is an area of military land located to the south of the town centre of Woolwich in South East London England.It is bounded on the south side by the A207 Shooter's Hill Road, and on the east by Academy Road that the former Royal Military Academy fronts. Situated to the west is the...

, it elects a Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 (MP) for Greenwich and Woolwich
Greenwich and Woolwich
Greenwich and Woolwich is a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election.-History:...

; currently the MP is Nick Raynsford
Nick Raynsford
Wyvill Richard Nicolls Raynsford , known as Nick Raynsford, is a British Labour Party politician. A government minister from 1997 to 2005, he has been the Member of Parliament for Greenwich & Woolwich since 1997, having previously been MP for Greenwich from 1992 to 1997, and for Fulham from 1986...

.

Topography

The town of Greenwich is built on a broad platform to the south of the outside of a broad meander in the River Thames, with a safe deep water anchorage lying in the river. To the south, the land rises steeply, 100 feet (30 m) through Greenwich Park to the town of Blackheath
Blackheath, London
Blackheath is a district of South London, England. It is named from the large open public grassland which separates it from Greenwich to the north and Lewisham to the west...

. The higher areas consist of a sedimentary layer of gravely soils, known as the Blackheath Beds, that spread through much of the south east over a chalk outcrop – with sands, loam and seams of clay at the lower levels by the river.

Greenwich is bordered by Deptford Creek
River Ravensbourne
The River Ravensbourne is a tributary of the River Thames in South London, England. It flows into the River Thames on the Tideway at Deptford, where its tidal reach is known as Deptford Creek.- Geography :...

 and Deptford
Deptford
Deptford is a district of south London, England, located on the south bank of the River Thames. It is named after a ford of the River Ravensbourne, and from the mid 16th century to the late 19th was home to Deptford Dockyard, the first of the Royal Navy Dockyards.Deptford and the docks are...

 to the west; the former industrial centre of the Greenwich Peninsula
Greenwich Peninsula
Greenwich Peninsula is an area of South London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich.The peninsula is bounded on three sides by a loop of the Thames, between the Isle of Dogs and Silvertown. To the south is the rest of Greenwich, to the south-east is Charlton.The peninsula lies...

, and the residential area of Westcombe Park
Westcombe Park
This article is about the London district. See Westcombe Park rugby club for details of the rugby club - now based in Orpington.Westcombe Park is a largely residential area in Blackheath in the London Borough of Greenwich, south-east London, England....

 to the east; the river Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

 to the north; and the A2
A2 road (Great Britain)
The A2 is a major road in southern England, connecting London with the English Channel port of Dover in Kent. This route has always been of importance as a connection between the British capital of London and sea trade routes to Continental Europe...

 and Blackheath common
Blackheath, London
Blackheath is a district of South London, England. It is named from the large open public grassland which separates it from Greenwich to the north and Lewisham to the west...

 to the south.

Climate

These data were collected between 1971 and 2000 at the weather station situated in Greenwich:

Riverfront

The Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark
The Cutty Sark is a clipper ship. Built in 1869, she served as a merchant vessel , and then as a training ship until being put on public display in 1954...

(a clipper
Clipper
A clipper was a very fast sailing ship of the 19th century that had three or more masts and a square rig. They were generally narrow for their length, could carry limited bulk freight, small by later 19th century standards, and had a large total sail area...

 ship
Ship
Since the end of the age of sail a ship has been any large buoyant marine vessel. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing,...

) has been preserved in a dry dock by the river. A major fire in May 2007 destroyed a part of the ship, although much had already been removed for restoration. Nearby for many years was also displayed Gipsy Moth IV
Gipsy Moth IV
Gipsy Moth IV is a yawl that Sir Francis Chichester commissioned specifically to sail single-handed around the globe, racing against the times set by the clipper ships of the 19th century.-Background and design:...

, the 54 feet (16.5 m) yacht sailed by Sir Francis Chichester
Francis Chichester
Sir Francis Charles Chichester KBE , aviator and sailor, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for becoming the first person to sail single-handed around the world by the clipper route, and the fastest circumnavigator, in nine months and one day overall.-Early life:Chichester was born in Barnstaple,...

 in his single-handed, 226-day circumnavigation
Circumnavigation
Circumnavigation – literally, "navigation of a circumference" – refers to travelling all the way around an island, a continent, or the entire planet Earth.- Global circumnavigation :...

 of the globe during 1966–67. In 2004, Gipsy Moth IV was removed from Greenwich, and after restoration work completed a second circumnavigation in May 2007. On the riverside in front of the north-west corner of the Hospital is an obelisk erected in memory of Arctic
Arctic
The Arctic is a region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost...

 explorer Joseph René Bellot
Joseph René Bellot
Joseph René Bellot was a French Arctic explorer.Bellot was born at Paris, the son of a farrier, but moved to Rochefort with his family in 1831. With the aid of the authorities of Rochefort he was enabled at the age of 15 to enter the Ecole Navale at Brest, in which he studied two years and earned...

.

Near the Cutty Sark site, a circular building contains the entrance to the Greenwich foot tunnel
Greenwich foot tunnel
The Greenwich foot tunnel is a pedestrian tunnel crossing beneath the River Thames in East London, linking Greenwich in the south with the Isle of Dogs to the north...

, opened on 4 August 1902. This connects Greenwich to the Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
The Isle of Dogs is a former island in the East End of London that is bounded on three sides by one of the largest meanders in the River Thames.-Etymology:...

 on the northern side of the River Thames. The north exit of the tunnel is at Island Gardens
Island Gardens
Island Gardens is a public park located at the southern end of the Isle of Dogs—hence the name 'Island'—in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets on the north bank of the River Thames...

, from where the famous view of Greenwich Hospital painted by Canaletto
Canaletto
Giovanni Antonio Canal better known as Canaletto , was a Venetian painter famous for his landscapes, or vedute, of Venice. He was also an important printmaker in etching.- Early career :...

 can be seen.

Rowing has been part of life on the river at Greenwich for hundreds of years and the first Greenwich Regatta was held in 1785. The annual Great River Race
Great River Race
The Great River Race is an annual competition held on the River Thames for any traditional-style coxed boat propelled by oars or paddles.The competition was started in 1988 and covers a 21 mile course on the tidal Thames between Ham, London and Greenwich...

 along the Thames Tideway
Tideway
The Tideway is a name given to the part of the River Thames in England that is subject to tides. This stretch of water is downstream from Teddington Lock and is just under long...

 finishes at the Cutty Sark. The Trafalgar Rowing Centre in Crane Street close by is home to Curlew Rowing Club
Curlew Rowing Club
Curlew Rowing Club is rowing club based on the Tideway of the River Thames at Greenwich, London, England. It was founded in 1866.Curlew Rowing Club has been in Greenwich, without interruption for over 130 years, through 2 world wars, based in various boathouses and not always called Curlew.We have...

 and Globe Rowing Club.

The Old Royal Naval College is Sir Christopher Wren
Christopher Wren
Sir Christopher Wren FRS is one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history.He used to be accorded responsibility for rebuilding 51 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including his masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral, on Ludgate Hill, completed in 1710...

's domed masterpiece at the centre of the heritage site. The site is administered by the Greenwich Foundation and several of the buildings are let to the University of Greenwich
University of Greenwich
The University of Greenwich is a British university located in the London Borough of Greenwich, London, England. The main campus is located on the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College, a central location within the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site.-History:The history of the...

 and one, the King Charles block, to Trinity College of Music
Trinity College of Music
Trinity College of Music is one of the London music conservatories, based in Greenwich. It is part of Trinity Laban.The conservatoire is inheritor of elegant riverside buildings of the former Greenwich Hospital, designed in part by Sir Christopher Wren...

. Within the complex is the former college dining room, the Painted Hall, this was painted by James Thornhill
James Thornhill
Sir James Thornhill was an English painter of historical subjects, in the Italian baroque tradition.-Life:...

, and the Chapel of St Peter and St Paul, with an interior designed by James 'Athenian' Stuart. The Naval College had a training reactor, the JASON reactor
JASON reactor
JASON was a nuclear reactor installed by the Ministry of Defence at the Royal Naval College in Greenwich, London.It was an Argonaut series 10 kW research reactor designed by the US Argonne National Laboratory, and was used by the Royal Navy for experimental and training purposes...

, within the King William building that was operational between 1962 and 1996. The reactor was decommissioned and removed in 1999.

To the east of the Naval College is the Trinity Hospital almshouse, founded in 1613, the oldest surviving building in the town centre. This is next to the massive brick walls and the landing stage of Greenwich Power Station
Greenwich Power Station
Greenwich Power Station is a standby oil, gas, and formerly coal-fired power station on the River Thames at Greenwich in south-east London. Despite being over one hundred years old, the station is still available as a back-up electricity source for the London Underground...

. Built between 1902 and 1910 as a coal-fired station to supply power to London's tram system
London County Council Tramways
The London County Council Tramways was an extensive network of public street tramways that was operated by the council throughout the County of London, UK, from 1899 to 1933, when they were taken over by the London Passenger Transport Board....

, and later the London underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

, it is now oil- and gas-powered and serves as a backup station for London Underground. East Greenwich also has a small park, East Greenwich Pleasaunce
East Greenwich Pleasaunce
East Greenwich Pleasaunce is a public park in East Greenwich, in south-east London. It is situated to the north side of the railway line between Maze Hill and Westcombe Park railway stations and south of the A206 Woolwich Road....

, which was formerly the burial ground of Greenwich Hospital.

The O2
The O2 (London)
The O2, visually typeset in branding as The O2, is a large entertainment district on the Greenwich peninsula in South East London, England, including an indoor arena, a music club, a Cineworld cinema, an exhibition space, piazzas, bars and restaurants...

 (formerly the Millennium Dome
Millennium Dome
The Millennium Dome, colloquially referred to simply as The Dome or even The O2 Arena, is the original name of a large dome-shaped building, originally used to house the Millennium Experience, a major exhibition celebrating the beginning of the third millennium...

) was built on part of the site of East Greenwich Gas Works
East Greenwich Gas Works
The East Greenwich Gas Works of the South Metropolitan Gas Company was the last gas works to be built in London, and the most modern. Originally manufacturing town gas from coal brought in by river and exporting coke and chemicals, the plant was adapted to produce gas from oil in the 1960s...

, a disused British Gas
British Gas plc
British Gas plc was formerly the monopoly gas supplier and is a private sector in the United Kingdom.- History :In the early 1900s the gas market in the United Kingdom was mainly run by county councils and small private firms...

 site on the Greenwich Peninsula
Greenwich Peninsula
Greenwich Peninsula is an area of South London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich.The peninsula is bounded on three sides by a loop of the Thames, between the Isle of Dogs and Silvertown. To the south is the rest of Greenwich, to the south-east is Charlton.The peninsula lies...

. It is next to North Greenwich tube station
North Greenwich tube station
North Greenwich is a station on London Underground's Jubilee Line, opened on 14 May 1999.Despite its name, North Greenwich is not in the area historically known as North Greenwich, on the Isle of Dogs, north of the river; an entirely different station used to be there, between 1872 and 1926...

, about 3 miles (4.8 km) east from the Greenwich town centre, North West of Charlton. The Greenwich Millennium Village
Greenwich Millennium Village
The Greenwich Millennium Village is an innovative mixed-tenure modern housing estate on an urban village model located on the Greenwich Peninsula in Greenwich in south-east London, and part of the Millennium Communities Programme under English Partnerships...

 is a new urban regeneration
Urban renewal
Urban renewal is a program of land redevelopment in areas of moderate to high density urban land use. Renewal has had both successes and failures. Its modern incarnation began in the late 19th century in developed nations and experienced an intense phase in the late 1940s – under the rubric of...

 development to the south of the Dome. Enderby's Wharf
Enderby's Wharf
Enderby's Wharf is a wharf and industrial site on the south bank of the Thames in southeast London, associated with Telcon and other companies...

 is a site associated with submarine cable
Submarine communications cable
A submarine communications cable is a cable laid on the sea bed between land-based stations to carry telecommunication signals across stretches of ocean....

 manufacture for over 150 years.

Greenwich park

Behind the former Naval College is the National Maritime Museum
National Maritime Museum
The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England is the leading maritime museum of the United Kingdom and may be the largest museum of its kind in the world. The historic buildings forming part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, it also incorporates the Royal Observatory, Greenwich,...

 housed in buildings forming another symmetrical group and grand arcade around the Queen's House
Queen's House
The Queen's House, Greenwich, is a former royal residence built between 1614-1617 in Greenwich, then a few miles downriver from London, and now a district of the city. Its architect was Inigo Jones, for whom it was a crucial early commission, for Anne of Denmark, the queen of King James I of England...

, designed by Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones is the first significant British architect of the modern period, and the first to bring Italianate Renaissance architecture to England...

. Continuing to the south, Greenwich Park
Greenwich Park
Greenwich Park is a former hunting park in Greenwich and one of the largest single green spaces in south east London. One of the Royal Parks of London, and the first to be enclosed , it covers , and is part of the Greenwich World Heritage Site. It commands fine views over the River Thames, Isle of...

 is a Royal Park
Royal Parks of London
The Royal Parks of London are lands originally owned by the monarchy of the United Kingdom for the recreation of the royal family...

 of 183 acre (0.74057538 km²), laid out in the 17th century and formed from the hunting grounds of the Royal Palace of Placentia
Palace of Placentia
The Palace of Placentia was an English Royal Palace built by Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester in 1447, in Greenwich, on the banks of the River Thames, downstream from London...

.

The park rises towards Blackheath
Blackheath, London
Blackheath is a district of South London, England. It is named from the large open public grassland which separates it from Greenwich to the north and Lewisham to the west...

 and at the top of this hill is a statue of James Wolfe
James Wolfe
Major General James P. Wolfe was a British Army officer, known for his training reforms but remembered chiefly for his victory over the French in Canada...

, commander of the British expedition to capture Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, nearby a major group of buildings within the park is the former Royal Observatory, Greenwich
Royal Observatory, Greenwich
The Royal Observatory, Greenwich , in London, England played a major role in the history of astronomy and navigation, and is best known as the location of the prime meridian...

 and the Prime Meridian
Prime Meridian
The Prime Meridian is the meridian at which the longitude is defined to be 0°.The Prime Meridian and its opposite the 180th meridian , which the International Date Line generally follows, form a great circle that divides the Earth into the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.An international...

 passes through the building. Greenwich Mean Time
Greenwich Mean Time
Greenwich Mean Time is a term originally referring to mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. It is arguably the same as Coordinated Universal Time and when this is viewed as a time zone the name Greenwich Mean Time is especially used by bodies connected with the United...

 was at one time based on the time observations made at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, before being superseded by Coordinated Universal Time
Coordinated Universal Time
Coordinated Universal Time is the primary time standard by which the world regulates clocks and time. It is one of several closely related successors to Greenwich Mean Time. Computer servers, online services and other entities that rely on having a universally accepted time use UTC for that purpose...

. While Greenwich no longer hosts a working astronomical observatory, a ball
Time ball
A time ball is a large painted wooden or metal ball that drops at a predetermined time, principally to enable sailors to check their marine chronometers from their boats offshore...

 still drops daily to mark the exact moment of 1 p.m., and there is a museum of astronomical and navigational tools, particularly John Harrison
John Harrison
John Harrison was a self-educated English clockmaker. He invented the marine chronometer, a long-sought device in solving the problem of establishing the East-West position or longitude of a ship at sea, thus revolutionising and extending the possibility of safe long distance sea travel in the Age...

's marine chronometer
Marine chronometer
A marine chronometer is a clock that is precise and accurate enough to be used as a portable time standard; it can therefore be used to determine longitude by means of celestial navigation...

s.

The Ranger's House lies at the Blackheath end of the park and houses the Wernher Collection of art, and many fine houses, including Vanbrugh's house
John Vanbrugh
Sir John Vanbrugh  – 26 March 1726) was an English architect and dramatist, perhaps best known as the designer of Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard. He wrote two argumentative and outspoken Restoration comedies, The Relapse and The Provoked Wife , which have become enduring stage favourites...

 lie on Maze Hill, on the western edge of the park.

Town centre

Georgian and Victorian architecture dominates in the town centre which spreads to the west of the park and Royal Naval college. Much of this forms a one-way system around a covered market, Greenwich Market and the arthouse Greenwich Cinema. Up the hill, from the centre there are many streets of Georgian houses, including the world's only museum dedicated to fans
Fan (implement)
A hand-held fan is an implement used to induce an airflow for the purpose of cooling or refreshing oneself. Any broad, flat surface waved back-and-forth will create a small airflow and therefore can be considered a rudimentary fan...

, the Fan Museum
Fan Museum
The Fan Museum was the first museum dedicated to the fan. It is located in the Greenwich World Heritage Site in South East London, England.The Museum, which opened in 1991, is accommodated in two grade II* listed houses built in 1721. An orangery decorated with murals has been added to the building...

, on Croom's Hill. Nearby at the junction of Croom's Hill with Nevada Street, is Greenwich Theatre
Greenwich Theatre
The Greenwich Theatre is a local theatre located in Croom's Hill close to the centre of Greenwich in south-east London.-Building history:The building was originally a music hall created in 1855 as part of the neighbouring Rose and Crown public house, but the Rose and Crown Music Hall was...

, formerly Crowder's Music Hall – one of two Greenwich theatres, the other being the Greenwich Playhouse
Greenwich Playhouse
The Greenwich Playhouse in the central Greenwich district of the London Borough of Greenwich is an eighty-four seat studio theatre which opened in 1990. It is situated above and has its entrance within, the St. Christopher’s Inn Pub...

.

Greenwich Mean Time

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is a term originally referring to mean solar time
Solar time
Solar time is a reckoning of the passage of time based on the Sun's position in the sky. The fundamental unit of solar time is the day. Two types of solar time are apparent solar time and mean solar time .-Introduction:...

 at the Royal Observatory
Royal Observatory, Greenwich
The Royal Observatory, Greenwich , in London, England played a major role in the history of astronomy and navigation, and is best known as the location of the prime meridian...

 in Greenwich. It is commonly used in practice to refer to Coordinated Universal Time
Coordinated Universal Time
Coordinated Universal Time is the primary time standard by which the world regulates clocks and time. It is one of several closely related successors to Greenwich Mean Time. Computer servers, online services and other entities that rely on having a universally accepted time use UTC for that purpose...

 (UTC) when this is viewed as a time zone
Time zone
A time zone is a region on Earth that has a uniform standard time for legal, commercial, and social purposes. In order for the same clock time to always correspond to the same portion of the day as the Earth rotates , different places on the Earth need to have different clock times...

, especially by bodies connected with the United Kingdom, such as the BBC World Service
BBC World Service
The BBC World Service is the world's largest international broadcaster, broadcasting in 27 languages to many parts of the world via analogue and digital shortwave, internet streaming and podcasting, satellite, FM and MW relays...

, the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

, the Met Office
Met Office
The Met Office , is the United Kingdom's national weather service, and a trading fund of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills...

 and others, although strictly UTC is an atomic
Atomic clock
An atomic clock is a clock that uses an electronic transition frequency in the microwave, optical, or ultraviolet region of the electromagnetic spectrum of atoms as a frequency standard for its timekeeping element...

 time scale
Time standard
A time standard is a specification for measuring time: either the rate at which time passes; or points in time; or both. In modern times, several time specifications have been officially recognized as standards, where formerly they were matters of custom and practice. An example of a kind of time...

 which only approximates GMT with a tolerance of 0.9 second. It is also used to refer to Universal Time
Universal Time
Universal Time is a time scale based on the rotation of the Earth. It is a modern continuation of Greenwich Mean Time , i.e., the mean solar time on the Prime Meridian at Greenwich, and GMT is sometimes used loosely as a synonym for UTC...

 (UT), which is a standard astronomical concept used in many technical fields and is referred to by the phrase Zulu time.

As the United Kingdom grew into an advanced maritime nation
Maritime nation
A maritime nation is any nation which borders the sea and uses it for any of the following: commerce and transport, war, to define a territorial boundary, or for any maritime activity ....

, British mariners kept at least one chronometer
Marine chronometer
A marine chronometer is a clock that is precise and accurate enough to be used as a portable time standard; it can therefore be used to determine longitude by means of celestial navigation...

 on GMT in order to calculate their longitude
Longitude
Longitude is a geographic coordinate that specifies the east-west position of a point on the Earth's surface. It is an angular measurement, usually expressed in degrees, minutes and seconds, and denoted by the Greek letter lambda ....

 from the Greenwich meridian
Prime Meridian
The Prime Meridian is the meridian at which the longitude is defined to be 0°.The Prime Meridian and its opposite the 180th meridian , which the International Date Line generally follows, form a great circle that divides the Earth into the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.An international...

, which was by convention considered to have longitude zero degrees (this convention was internationally adopted in the International Meridian Conference
International Meridian Conference
The International Meridian Conference was a conference held in October 1884 in Washington, D.C., in the United States to determine the Prime Meridian of the world. The conference was held at the request of U.S. President Chester A...

 of 1884). Note that the synchronization of the chronometer
Marine chronometer
A marine chronometer is a clock that is precise and accurate enough to be used as a portable time standard; it can therefore be used to determine longitude by means of celestial navigation...

 on GMT did not affect shipboard time itself, which was still solar time. But this practice, combined with mariners from other nations drawing from Nevil Maskelyne
Nevil Maskelyne
The Reverend Dr Nevil Maskelyne FRS was the fifth English Astronomer Royal. He held the office from 1765 to 1811.-Biography:...

's method of lunar distance
Lunar distance (navigation)
In celestial navigation, lunar distance is the angle between the Moon and another celestial body. A navigator can use a lunar distance and a nautical almanac to calculate Greenwich time...

s based on observations at Greenwich, eventually led to GMT being used worldwide as a reference time independent of location. Most time zones were based upon this reference as a number of hours and half-hours "ahead of GMT" or "behind GMT".

World heritage site

In 1997, Maritime Greenwich was added to the list of World Heritage Sites, for the concentration and quality of buildings of historic and architectural interest. These can be divided into the group of buildings along the riverfront, Greenwich park and the Georgian
Georgian era
The Georgian era is a period of British history which takes its name from, and is normally defined as spanning the reigns of, the first four Hanoverian kings of Great Britain : George I, George II, George III and George IV...

 and Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 town centre.
In recognition of the suburb's astronomical links, Asteroid 2830
2830 Greenwich
2830 Greenwich is a small main belt asteroid, which was discovered by Edward L. G. Bowell in 1980. It is named after Greenwich, the London borough that is home to the Royal Greenwich Observatory, home of the Astronomer Royal....

 has been named 'Greenwich'.

Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre

The Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre provides an introduction to the history and attractions in the Greenwich World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

. It is located in the Pepys Buildings near to the Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark
The Cutty Sark is a clipper ship. Built in 1869, she served as a merchant vessel , and then as a training ship until being put on public display in 1954...

 within the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College
Old Royal Naval College
The Old Royal Naval College is the architectural centrepiece of Maritime Greenwich, a World Heritage Site in Greenwich, London, described by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation as being of “outstanding universal value” and reckoned to be the “finest and most...

, (formerly Greenwich Hospital). The centre opened in March, 2010, and admission is free.

The Centre explains the history of Greenwich as a royal residence and a maritime centre. Exhibits include:
  • The history of the Palace of Placentia
    Palace of Placentia
    The Palace of Placentia was an English Royal Palace built by Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester in 1447, in Greenwich, on the banks of the River Thames, downstream from London...

    .
  • Models of Christopher Wren
    Christopher Wren
    Sir Christopher Wren FRS is one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history.He used to be accorded responsibility for rebuilding 51 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including his masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral, on Ludgate Hill, completed in 1710...

    's original designs for Greenwich Hospital.
  • Six of the carved heads originally intended to decorate the exterior of the College's Painted Hall.
  • Exhibition displays about Maritime Greenwich and its connections with the sea and exploration.
  • "By Wisdom as much as War" – an exhibition about the history of the Royal Naval College
    Old Royal Naval College
    The Old Royal Naval College is the architectural centrepiece of Maritime Greenwich, a World Heritage Site in Greenwich, London, described by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation as being of “outstanding universal value” and reckoned to be the “finest and most...

     during the years it occupied Greenwich Hospital (1873–1998).

Greenwich Heritage Centre

Greenwich Heritage Centre is a museum
Museum
A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. Most large museums are located in major cities...

 and local history
Local history
Local history is the study of history in a geographically local context and it often concentrates on the local community. It incorporates cultural and social aspects of history...

 resource run by the London Borough of Greenwich
London Borough of Greenwich
The London Borough of Greenwich is an Inner London borough in south-east London, England. Taking its name from the historic town of Greenwich, the present borough was formed in 1965 by the amalgamation of the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich with part of the Metropolitan...

, and is based in Artillery Square, in the Royal Arsenal
Royal Arsenal
The Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, originally known as the Woolwich Warren, carried out armaments manufacture, ammunition proofing and explosives research for the British armed forces. It was sited on the south bank of the River Thames in Woolwich in south-east London, England.-Early history:The Warren...

, Woolwich
Woolwich
Woolwich is a district in south London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.Woolwich formed part of Kent until 1889 when the County of London was created...

, south-east London.

It was established in October 2003, combining materials from the Greenwich Borough Museum and the local history library (previously at Woodlands House
Woodlands House
Woodlands House is a grade II listed Georgian villa, next door to Mycenae House, Mycenae Road, in the Westcombe Park area of the London Borough of Greenwich.-History:...

 in Westcombe Park
Westcombe Park
This article is about the London district. See Westcombe Park rugby club for details of the rugby club - now based in Orpington.Westcombe Park is a largely residential area in Blackheath in the London Borough of Greenwich, south-east London, England....

).

The market

There has been a market at Greenwich since the 14th century, but the history of the present market dates from 1700 when a charter to run two markets, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, was assigned by Lord Romney to the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital for 1000 years.

Greenwich Market sits in Greenwich town centre within an area called the Island Site, which is bounded by College Approach, Greenwich Church Street, King William Walk and Nelson Road. The Island site forms part of the World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

, which also includes the National Maritime Museum, Old Royal Naval College, the Queens House and the Royal Observatory
Royal Observatory, Greenwich
The Royal Observatory, Greenwich , in London, England played a major role in the history of astronomy and navigation, and is best known as the location of the prime meridian...

.

The buildings surrounding the market on the island site are Grade 2 listed, and were established in 1827–1833 under the direction of Joseph Kay. Later significant phases of development occurred in 1902–08; in 1958–60 and during the 1980s. The current market roof dates from 1902–08 and the buildings on either side of the market from 1958–60.

Greenwich Market trades five days a week, being closed on Monday and Tuesday, but the shops, cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants around the Market are open seven days a week, including Greenwich Printmakers, the oldest-established printmaking co-operative in the UK.

Wednesday is a food and homewares market day, Thursdays and Fridays specialise in antiques and collectibles and arts and crafts. Weekends and bank holidays attract arts & crafts and food stalls.There are a wide selection of specialist shops, bars, restaurants and a café, all open seven days a week.

Plans to redevelop the market by its owners, Greenwich Hospital, were unanimously rejected by Greenwich Council's Planning Board in August 2009.

Education

The University of Greenwich
University of Greenwich
The University of Greenwich is a British university located in the London Borough of Greenwich, London, England. The main campus is located on the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College, a central location within the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site.-History:The history of the...

 main campus is located in the distinctive buildings of the former Royal Naval College
Old Royal Naval College
The Old Royal Naval College is the architectural centrepiece of Maritime Greenwich, a World Heritage Site in Greenwich, London, described by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation as being of “outstanding universal value” and reckoned to be the “finest and most...

. There is a further campus of the university at Avery Hill in Eltham, and also, outside the borough, in Medway
Medway
Medway is a conurbation and unitary authority in South East England. The Unitary Authority was formed in 1998 when the City of Rochester-upon-Medway amalgamated with Gillingham Borough Council and part of Kent County Council to form Medway Council, a unitary authority independent of Kent County...

. Near the main campus at Greenwich, the Trinity College of Music
Trinity College of Music
Trinity College of Music is one of the London music conservatories, based in Greenwich. It is part of Trinity Laban.The conservatoire is inheritor of elegant riverside buildings of the former Greenwich Hospital, designed in part by Sir Christopher Wren...

 is housed in the buildings of the former Greenwich Hospital. Also Greenwich is a nice place for education trips.

Transport

Two railway lines cross Greenwich: the Greenwich Line
Greenwich Line
The Greenwich Line is a short railway line in South London that follows the route of the London and Greenwich Railway, which was the first railway line in London....

, which runs west to east and follows the route of the London and Greenwich Railway
London and Greenwich Railway
The London and Greenwich Railway was opened in London between 1836 and 1838. It was the first steam railway to have a terminus in the capital, the first of any to be built specifically for passenger service, and the first example of an elevated railway....

, which was the first railway line in London, and links the South Eastern Main Line with the North Kent Line
North Kent Line
The North Kent Line is a railway line which connects central and south east London with Dartford and Medway.-Construction:The North Kent Line was the means by which the South Eastern Railway were able to connect its system to London at London Bridge...

 at Charlton; and the Docklands Light Railway
Docklands Light Railway
The Docklands Light Railway is an automated light metro or light rail system opened on 31 August 1987 to serve the redeveloped Docklands area of London...

 (DLR), which runs north to south. Both lines are served by Greenwich station
Greenwich station
Greenwich railway station is about 400 m southwest of the town centre of Greenwich, London, England. It is an interchange between National Rail trains between central London and Dartford , and the Docklands Light Railway between Lewisham to the south and the Docklands area and the City of London...

; with the DLR having a separate station at Cutty Sark DLR Station
Cutty Sark DLR station
Cutty Sark is a light metro station on the Docklands Light Railway system in central Greenwich, London. One of three DLR stations in the London Borough of Greenwich, it is also known as Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich for its location within the aforementioned district.-Location:The northernmost...

 near the river, and the Greenwich Line having Maze Hill railway station
Maze Hill railway station
Maze Hill railway station, in the Maze Hill area of Greenwich, London, is the closest railway station to Greenwich Park, being about two minutes walk from the north-east corner of the park....

 to the east, on the boundary with Westcombe Park
Westcombe Park
This article is about the London district. See Westcombe Park rugby club for details of the rugby club - now based in Orpington.Westcombe Park is a largely residential area in Blackheath in the London Borough of Greenwich, south-east London, England....

. DLR trains run from Lewisham to Bank and Stratford via Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf is a major business district located in London, United Kingdom. It is one of London's two main financial centres, alongside the traditional City of London, and contains many of the UK's tallest buildings, including the second-tallest , One Canada Square...

. The Greenwich Line carries trains from London Charing Cross
Charing Cross railway station
Charing Cross railway station, also known as London Charing Cross, is a central London railway terminus in the City of Westminster, England. It is one of 18 stations managed by Network Rail, and trains serving it are operated by Southeastern...

 and London Cannon Street in central London to Dartford
Dartford
Dartford is the principal town in the borough of Dartford. It is situated in the northwest corner of Kent, England, east south-east of central London....

 in Kent, with a limited service to Gravesend, Kent
Gravesend, Kent
Gravesend is a town in northwest Kent, England, on the south bank of the Thames, opposite Tilbury in Essex. It is the administrative town of the Borough of Gravesham and, because of its geographical position, has always had an important role to play in the history and communications of this part of...

 and Gillingham, Medway. There are no London Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

 stations in Greenwich itself – North Greenwich tube station
North Greenwich tube station
North Greenwich is a station on London Underground's Jubilee Line, opened on 14 May 1999.Despite its name, North Greenwich is not in the area historically known as North Greenwich, on the Isle of Dogs, north of the river; an entirely different station used to be there, between 1872 and 1926...

 on the Peninsula
Greenwich Peninsula
Greenwich Peninsula is an area of South London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich.The peninsula is bounded on three sides by a loop of the Thames, between the Isle of Dogs and Silvertown. To the south is the rest of Greenwich, to the south-east is Charlton.The peninsula lies...

 is the nearest tube station.

There are a number of river boat services running from Greenwich Pier
Greenwich Pier
Greenwich Pier is a pier on the River Thames in the London borough of Greenwich, UK. It is operated by London River Services and called at by various river cruise operators, mostly operating public cruise services to and from Central London...

, managed by London River Services
London River Services
London River Services is a division of Transport for London , which manages passenger transport on the River Thames in London, UK. They do not own or operate any boats but license the services of other operators...

. The main services include the Thames commuter catamaran service run by Thames Clipper
Thames Clipper
Thames Clipper is a water-bus service operating in London on the River Thames. The company offers commuter services between eastern and central London, as well as tourist services under licence from London River Services. At present they transport around 7,500 passengers daily.-Company:Sean Collins...

 from Embankment
Embankment Pier
Embankment Pier is a pier on the River Thames in London, UK. It is located on the North Bank of the river, immediately next to the Hungerford Bridge and directly outside the river entrance to Embankment tube station...

, via Tower Millennium Pier
Tower Millennium Pier
Tower Millennium Pier is a pier on the River Thames, in London, UK. It is operated by London River Services and served by various river transport and cruise operators...

, Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf Pier
The Canary Wharf Pier is a London River Services pier on the River Thames in London, UK. It is located to the west of the Canary Wharf district, close to Narrow Street, Limehouse....

 and on to the O2
The O2 (London)
The O2, visually typeset in branding as The O2, is a large entertainment district on the Greenwich peninsula in South East London, England, including an indoor arena, a music club, a Cineworld cinema, an exhibition space, piazzas, bars and restaurants...

 and Woolwich Arsenal Pier
Woolwich Arsenal Pier
Woolwich Arsenal Pier, also known as the Royal Arsenal Pier, Woolwich, is a pier on the River Thames, at Woolwich in the London Borough of Greenwich, UK...

; the Wesminster
Westminster Millennium Pier
Westminster Millennium Pier is a pier on the River Thames, in the City of Westminster in London, UK. It is operated by London River Services and served by various river transport and cruise operators....

-Greenwich cruise service by Thames River Services
Thames River Services
Thames River Services is a river boat company which provides leisure cruises on the River Thames in London, United Kingdom. TRS cruises operate on the Thames under licence from London River Services, part of Transport for London.-Services:...

; and the City Cruises
City Cruises
City Cruises is a public limited company that operates scheduled public sightseeing cruises on the River Thames in London, serving Westminster, London Eye, Tower and Greenwich piers every day throughout the year...

 tourist cruise via Westminster, Waterloo
Waterloo Millennium Pier
London Eye Pier is a pier on South Bank of the River Thames in Central London, UK, located directly in front of the London Eye....

 and Tower
Tower Millennium Pier
Tower Millennium Pier is a pier on the River Thames, in London, UK. It is operated by London River Services and served by various river transport and cruise operators...

 piers.

Pedestrian and cyclists

The Thames Path
Thames Path
The Thames Path is a National Trail, opened in 1996, following the length of the River Thames from its source near Kemble in Gloucestershire to the Thames Barrier at Charlton. It is about long....

 National Trail runs along the riverside. The Greenwich foot tunnel
Greenwich foot tunnel
The Greenwich foot tunnel is a pedestrian tunnel crossing beneath the River Thames in East London, linking Greenwich in the south with the Isle of Dogs to the north...

 provides pedestrian access to the southern end of the Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
The Isle of Dogs is a former island in the East End of London that is bounded on three sides by one of the largest meanders in the River Thames.-Etymology:...

, across the river Thames.

National Cycle Network
National Cycle Network
The National Cycle Network is a network of cycle routes in the United Kingdom.The National Cycle Network was created by the charity Sustrans , and aided by a £42.5 million National Lottery grant. In 2005 it was used for over 230 million trips.Many routes hope to minimise contact with motor...

route 1 runs through the foot tunnel (although cycles must not be ridden in the tunnel itself).

External links


The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK