Painted Hall Project

For the last two years the Old Royal Naval College has been cleaning and conserving 40,000 square feet of the Painted Hall. This landmark project will return clarity, colour and vibrancy to Sir James Thornhill’s masterpiece. Importantly, the project will also create a more stable environment so that it will be many decades before the Painted Hall needs conserving again.


As part of the project we gave over 80,000 visitors the opportunity to ascend specially built scaffolding to an observation deck to experience the drama of the vast lower hall ceiling up close.


The Painted Hall project is now in its final stages and will reopen in March 2019.

Hidden inscriptions deciphered!

Watch as conservator Sam Whittaker helps us decode historic graffiti discovered on the Painted Hall ceiling.Read more

Brave Imagination

Students from Lewisham College produced an exhibition mounted on the scaffolding in the Painted Hall, exploring their identities and responding to the painted ceiling itself.Read more

A is for Astronomy, B is for Beta and C is for Constellation

Simon Davies identifies a new character on the Painted Hall ceilingRead more

Delve below the surface

Discover how technical imaging is revealing new information about the painted ceiling and details invisible to the naked eyeRead more

Ghostly details in the Painted Hall

Carla Paulis delves into the shadows to uncover some intriguing details in the Painted HallRead more

All that glimmers: conserving the Painted Hall’s gilding

Watch conservator Eliza Doherty share her experience of cleaning the gilded decoration in the Painted HallRead more

Tycho Brahe: the father of modern astronomy?

Patrick Rice sheds light on the famous Danish astronomer depicted in the Painted HallRead more

A tale of crime, punishment and notoriety

Elaine Galloway introduces John Worley, one of the first sailors to live at the Royal Hospital for SeamenRead more

Hercules: Loves and Labours, lost or found?

Simon Davies introduces this famous mythological character and makes an intriguing new discoveryRead more

Explore the Tudor Floor with our 3D model

You can now explore the Tudor discovery beneath the Painted Hall through our interactive 3D Sketchfab model!Read more