September 2016 Events at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

Delve into the Museum archives at the Caird Library and Archive Open Day; celebrate the Totally Thames Festival at the Maritime Lecture Series, or learn about the history of the Thames and dance the night away at the Treasures of the Thames late.

Children and adult visitors will find a full programme of events at the historic Greenwich National Maritime Museum. The Queen’s House is closed for refurbishment until October 2016.

For Royal Observatory Greenwich, Peter Harrison Planetarium and Cutty Sark events, please contact the Royal Museums Greenwich Press Office on 020 8312 6789/6545/6790.

Exhibitions and Events

Jutland 1916: WWI’s Greatest Sea Battle

As part of the National Maritime Museum’s commemoration of World War One, this exhibition marks the centenary of the largest naval battle of the conflict – the Battle of Jutland.

Involving a total of 279 ships on 31 May 1916, the North Sea bore witness to ‘Der Tag’, a major clash between the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet. Both sides suffered heavy losses in ships and men, but despite being the biggest naval surface engagement to date Jutland was one of the most keenly-felt disappointments of the war, with neither side achieving a decisive victory.

Jutland 1916: WWI’s Greatest Sea Battle takes visitors through the lead-up to the battle, the action during, and also uncovers stories of the aftermath, from the incredibly personal accounts of the sailors and their families, to the broader views of the nations and navies on either side of the conflict.

Special Events

Caird Library and Archive Open Day

Explore a selection of items from the world-famous collections held in the Museum’s Library and Archive, including a letter from Nelson, rare books and beautiful atlases.

Public Astronomer, Dr Marek Kukula, will be on hand to discuss the unique astronomical books in the collection, and library staff will be able to offer advice on family history and seafaring ancestry enquiries.

Late: Treasures of the Thames

Float down river to Greenwich for an evening exploring London’s life blood, the River Thames.

Discover how mudlarks, artists and archaeologists piece together the city’s history through things washed up on its shores, hear from our curators about London’s evolution around the river, and dance to the rhythm of the waves with music by DJ Nocturne.

The Landlubbers’ Maritime Folk Festival

Save yourself a journey to the coast and enjoy the best of maritime folk culture right here in the city at the National Maritime Museum.

Stomp your feet to sea shanties, hear the salty yarns of our figureheads or try your hand at some traditional maritime crafts. The festival culminates with BBC Folk Club winner the Nest Collective’s new monthly shanty sessions at Cutty Sark.

Sound Art Workshops

Join sonic artists Call & Response for a series of workshops exploring the Museum’s unique collections through sound and digital technology. Learn to use these technologies and create responses to be performed or broadcast in locations across the Museum.

Muslims at Sea: From Barbary Pirates to Brick Lane

Join us for a day devoted to Britain’s long and fascinating relationship with Islam. Encounter Muslim pirates, European sailors who converted to Islam, beautiful Middle Eastern scientific instruments and much more.

Maritime Lecture Series: Totally Thames Festival

This special Maritime Lecture Series led by archaeologists and curators will uncover the river Thames’s rich history, from Roman ports to recent archaeological digs.

The Roman and Medieval Ports of London Project

Director of the Discovery Thames Programme, Gustav Milne, explores how trade has long been at the heart of London’s prosperity. Over 40 years of archaeological investigations have revealed the site of a Roman harbour and bridge, a mid-Saxon port on the Strand, and later Saxon and medieval harbours in the City.

Date: 1 September 2016

The Disappearing Archaeology of the Thames at Greenwich

The Thames at Greenwich has some of the most vulnerable foreshore archaeology in London. Join Community Archaeologist of the Thames Discovery Programme, Helen Johnston, to see how 20 years of archaeological investigations have revealed features from the Mesolithic period through to the modern day, including shorefront remains of Greenwich Palace.

Date: 8 September 2016

Thames Discovery Programme

For thousands of years, the Thames has held special meaning as a crossing place. Explore aspects of ritual and religious activity connected to the river, and the archaeological evidence for these, recorded by the Thames Discovery Programme and others. This lecture is led by Head of Community Archaeology, Nathalie Cohen.

Date: 15 September 2016

The Thames beyond London: Archaeology Downstream

Unconstrained to central London, discover the archaeological record of the Thames foreshore. Lara Band and Oliver Hutchinson of CITiZAN (the Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network) reveal forts, forests and fish traps that have become visible as water recedes and tides erode the river banks of North Kent and Essex.

Date: 22 September 2016

Blackwall Shipyard and the East India Company

Ships have been built at Blackwall since the Middle Ages. Using the National Maritime Museum collections, this talk by Assistant Curator of Ship Models, Nick Ball, will track the history of the shipyard, from building the East India Company and Royal Navy ships in 17th and 18th centuries, to some of the earliest 19th-century steam ships.

Date: 29 September 2016

Family Events

Character encounters

Meet a character from the past and take part in an exciting performance that will bring maritime history to life.

Discover Sundays

Be inspired by our maritime past and explore your personal connections to the sea. Ask staff where the activity is on the day.

Play Tuesdays

Have fun with your family by exploring the Museum through crafts, music, dance and drama. Timed sessions: collect tickets from the Admissions Desk.

Become the Greatest Explorer on The Great Map

The Great Explorer is an interactive game for families. Take one of our tablet devices and set sail across The Great Map to explore distant lands and discover treasures from all around the world. Where will you visit and what will you find?

Take a photo and share your adventure with us @NMMGreenwich #greatmap

General Information

The National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory Greenwich, Queen’s House and Cutty Sark operate under the banner of Royal Museums Greenwich. In preparation for the 400th anniversary in 2016 of its commissioning and design, the Queen’s House will be closed for refurbishment until later in the year.

The National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory Greenwich and Cutty Sark are open daily 10.00-17.00 (last admission 16.30). Cutty Sark’s opening times may be subject to change, please see website for details. General admission to National Maritime Museum is free.

All events included here are free of charge to all visitors unless stated. Admission prices for the Royal Observatory Greenwich, Peter Harrison Planetarium and Cutty Sark, as well as Museum special exhibitions can be found online.

The Museum is located a short walk from the Cutty Sark DLR, and Maze Hill and Greenwich train stations. The closest tube stations are North Greenwich (to change to local buses) and Canary Wharf (to change to DLR), both on the Jubilee line.

For updated information prior to visit please visit our web site or phone 020 8858 4422.


For further information or images please contact: Royal Museums Greenwich Press Office Tel: 020 8312 6789/6545/6790 | 07960 509802 | Email: