Henry VIII was born at Greenwich Palace in 1491. A huge complex on the banks of the Thames, throughout his reign it would become his favoured residence.

Removed from the hustle and bustle of the city, Greenwich Palace was ideal for Henry. It was close to the docks at Woolwich and Deptford, where his favourite warships the Great Harry and Mary Rose were moored. You can read more about Henry VIII's passion for warships and his relationship to the Greenwich docks here.

Famous for his enthusiasm for jousting, Henry had a jousting list built at the Palace. 

Greenwich Palace was also the site of more notorious incidents in Henry VIII's reign. Anne Boelyn, one of Henry VIII's ill-fated wives, was arrested here before being taken to the Tower of London for imprisonment and, ultimately, her execution; Anne of Cleves also briefly visited the Palace during her doomed marriage to Henry.

You can learn more about the early history of Greenwich Palace, as well as visiting the buildings that followed it, by visiting! Today the Old Royal Naval College is open to the public and home of three unique and free to visit attractions; the Painted Hall, the Chapel, and the Visitor Centre, where archaeological artifacts from the old Palace are on display. 

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