Greenwich from the south-east showing the Park and Tudor palace, about 1620

A view of Greenwich from a point east of the top of modern Maze Hill, with the Thames and London shown in the distance. In the foreground a couple are seated with their backs to the viewer, surrounded by sheep, as they survey the rural scene. Another elegant pair of strollers listen to the bagpipe being played by the shepherd on the left, with his dog trained to dance to the tune. Above them deer can be seen grazing on One-Tree Hill in Greenwich Park. On the right a cart goes down Maze Hill, near to where the early paling fence round the Park turns left into what is now Park Vista then right into Back Lane (now Park Row): James I replaced this fence all round the Park by a brick wall completed in 1624. Greenwich Palace can be seen in the distance, right centre, with the river beyond. The building by this time called Greenwich Castle (begun in the early 15th century as a watchtower and lodge by Duke Humphrey of Gloucester) is shown high on the left, on the site of the present Royal Observatory. Duke Humphrey began the Palace, based on an earlier religious building, when Regent to Henry VI in the 1420s. It was subsequently extended, then rebuilt around 1500 by Henry VII, with additions by Henry VIII and some later work into the reign of Charles I. The twin towers (with a tree between) are those on the west side of Henry VIII's tiltyard of 1516-18 - an area now comprising the eastern grounds of the National Maritime Museum. To their right is the Friary Chapel with its slender central spire: the Great Tower holding the king's lodgings dominates the buildings on the river. The newly built and still-surviving Trinity Hospital can be seen on the extreme right. Beyond are the towers and spires of London, including in the far distance old St Paul’s Cathedral and what is now Southwark Cathedral. Over in the left background is Westminster Abbey. This important image is significant both as an early landscape painting and as one of the earliest views of Greenwich and the old Palace.

Object Details

ID: BHC1820
Collection: Fine art
Type: Painting
Display location: Display - QH
Creator: English School, 17th century
Places: Greenwich
Date made: Early 17th century
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Frame: 430 mm x 780 mm x 50 mm;Overall: 6 kg;Painting: 290 mm x 635 mm

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