As a scheduled ancient monument with Grade I listed buildings, the ORNC enjoys the highest level of protection available in England.

Around 10,000 hours of conservation are carried out each year, with an annual spend of over £3 million.

The ORNC depends on the continuing dedication and skills of today’s craftsman and conservators to make sure the wonderful site and buildings remain in best condition for generations to come.

Upcoming projects

In addition to Phase II of the Painted Hall Conservation Project, the Old Royal Naval College has an extensive programme of ongoing maintenance, conservation and restoration.

The Ripley Tunnel

The passageway that links the Painted Hall and the Chapel beneath Upper Grand Square, known as the Ripley Tunnel, was constructed under the direction of Thomas Ripley, Surveyor of the Royal Hospital for Seamen between 1729 and 1758, to link the King William and Queen Mary blocks of the Hospital. Ripley made this change to Sir Christopher Wren’s original design in order to accommodate more pensioners and improve circulation around the site.

During the 20th-century the wells and windows which lit the tunnel were blocked up, only worsening the existing damp problems. Today the tunnel also suffers from poor heating and lighting. As part of a comprehensive refurbishment of the Ripley Tunnel, we will be reinstating the windows and the grilles above as well as repairing, redecorating and re-plastering the interior of the tunnel which will transform the space for visitors and provide a much more fitting link between these two buildings.

The Skittle Alley

Alongside the proposed works to the Ripley Tunnel we are currently considering the possibility of extending the refurbishment works to include the Victorian Skittle Alley foyer.

The support of those who share our love for this iconic site is vital in helping us continue with such conservation projects, our ground-breaking learning programme and maintaining free public access.

How you can help