Main entrance to the National Maritime Museum.
is a suburban borough
of south-east London
. From 1675 until London's smog forced its removal to Sussex
in the 1950s it was the location of the Royal Observatory, through which the Prime Meridian
runs; consequently Greenwich gave its name to the horological standard Greenwich Mean Time
(GMT), which is also known as Universal Time Co-ordinate (UTC).
These days the line is marked by a brass bar set in the ground next to the museum that has replaced the observatory.
Greenwich (from OE: green harbour) existed in Anglo-Saxon times. It was a centre for shipbuilding in the late medieval and early modern period, and was the location of a royal palace, built in 1427. It was a favourite residence of Henry VIII who was one of three Tudor monarchs born there. The only relic of the palace is the Queen's House, the first Renaissance building in England, designed by Inigo Jones; work began in 1616. The Royal Naval Hospital was largely built between 1696 and 1712, and was used as the Royal Naval College between 1873 and 1998. Part of the buildings became the National Maritime Museum in 1937.
The clipper, "Cutty Sark" is on public display there, as is Sir Francis Chichester's "Gypsy Moth IV", the first yacht to be sailed single-handedly around the world.
The entire centre of Greenwich, known as "Maritime Greenwich", was given UNESCO World Heritage value in 1997.
- ↑ http://www.greenwich-guide.org.uk/observ.htm
- ↑ http://www.greenwich-guide.org.uk/queens.htm
- ↑ http://www.greenwich-guide.org.uk/rnc.htm