The American artist Benjamin West (1738-1820) had a long relationship with the Royal Hospital for Seamen, now the site of the Old Royal Naval College, creating some of its most significant art works.

Join us for this free tour exploring West’s artistic legacy in Greenwich. Starting in the Chapel, we’ll take a closer look at the vast painted altarpiece depicting the shipwreck of St Paul on the island of Malta. This unusual subject would have resonated with the retired seamen who lived in the Hospital, most of whom would have experienced storms at sea and the very real threat of annihilation. Several decades later West designed the Nelson Pediment, a tribute to Nelson’s heroism and a masterpiece in coade stone.

The tour will explore these works in the context of West’s extraordinary career, a Pennsylvanian born-artist from a rural Quaker community who rose to become one of Britain’s preeminent painters.

Event Information

Saturday 4 March, 12.00pm and 2.30pm.

Each tour lasts 45 minutes. Meet at the entrance to the Chapel 5 minutes before each tour begins.

Free, no need to book.

Part of the tour involves climbing steps. If you are a wheelchair user, or have any other access requirements, please get in touch and we will ensure we have a trained member of staff to assist you. Call us on 020 8269 4799 or email