Tudor England

Perhaps the best-known family in English royal history, the Tudors helped to make England one of the world’s leading colonial powers. Discover more about how the Tudor dynasty helped to shape Britain, from promoting global trade and industry, to establishing England’s first national navy.

Find out more about Henry VIII

Find out more about Elizabeth I


Who was Mary Tudor, sometimes known as 'Bloody Mary'? During her turbulent life, Mary became the first ruling queen of England, led an unpopular Catholic reign, and condemned many Protestants to death. 

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Greenwich has been a key location for the royal family for over 500 years. 

Henry VII

Henry VII is known for being the first Tudor King, and for being the father of King Henry VIII. 

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The iconic Armada portrait of Elizabeth I commemorates the most famous conflict of her reign – the failed invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in summer 1588.

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18 February 2016 marked the  500th anniversary of the birth of Mary I at Greenwich Palace in 1516. Our curator, Katy Barrett took a look into her turbulent life. 

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On 22 July 1588 the Spanish Armada, a force of 130 ships and 18,000 men, left northern Spain and headed for the English Channel. Its objective was to rendezvous with a large army assembled in the Netherlands, commanded by the Duke of Parma.


Henry VIII (1491–1547) is one of the most famous kings in English history. An important part of his legacy was his establishment of the Royal Navy, encouraging shipbuilding and creating dockyards.


Entertainment at court in Elizabethan times included jousting, dancing, poetry-reading, dramatic performances, hunting, riding, banqueting and concerts. 


Conveniently situated beside the River Thames, Greenwich was extremely popular with the Tudor royal family.

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Do you know your Spanish farthingale from your Drum? Or your English hood from your French? Types of Tudor fashion evolved throughout the period.