From the Cutty Sark we walked up King William Walk past one of the entrances to the Old Royal Naval College and turned left on Romney Road and soon reached our next stop: the National Maritime Museum, considered by many to be the world’s largest.
The museum is noted for its collection of ship figureheads and displays of all kinds of small boats including the golden barge Prince Frederick, son of George II, used to float down the Thames in regal splendor.
One section on the first floor covers British naval explorations over the centuries. Another displays Admiral Nelson memorabilia, including a replica of the uniform he wore when he was fatally shot during the battle of Trafalgar (his actual uniform which is usually displayed, complete with bullet hole, was on loan to another museum during our visit).
The museum’s Sammy Ofer wing, opened in 2011, contains the Caird Library (world’s largest maritime reference library), the Brasserie restaurant and a permanent collection called Voyagers in its own gallery. There’s also a lounge area that offers wi-fi connections.
The celebrated Queen’s House, designed by Inigo Jones in the Palladium style similar to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, is attached to the museum via a long colonnade and contains the museum’s collection of fine art. King James I built the garden villa for his wife, Queen Anne of Denmark, who died three years after the building began in 1616. We decided to skip the art in favor of the Royal Observatory which sits proudly atop the hill behind the museum, proclaiming its prominence as home of the world’s prime meridian, from which the location of all things on earth are measured.
So we walked out the back exit of the museum and up the path in Greenwich Park to the observatory. My next posting will show you our various views of London from Greenwich Park and the following posting will cover our visit to the Royal Observatory.