Happy New Year! 2018 sees the culmination of the Painted Hall Project, which began in late 2016. With conservation work scheduled for completion in September, it's your last chance to climb our 60-foot scaffold and get up close to the murals of the Painted Hall for the last chance in a century.

This Spring, we're giving the public a chance to engage with this project even more closely through a programme of events and tours. 


1. Explore the Painted Hall with a conservator's eye

Conservators working on the ceiling of the Painted Hall

Conservators work on the ceiling of the Painted Hall

Return to the observation deck for a specialist Conservator-led tour, granting an opportunity to see the ceiling through the eye of a conservator, learning the techniques used to conserve the ceiling, the challenges posed by such a vast project, and some of the discoveries made.

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2. Draw from life on the Painted Hall's observation deck

Two life models draw inspiration from the baroque paintings of Sir James Thornhill

Life models draw inspiration from the vast murals of Sir James Thornhill

This April, sketching life models and the paintings of Sir James Thornhill 60 feet above the ground in a life drawing session like no other! Life drawing salon Art Macabre will draw inspiration from the celestial depictions of the vast Painted Hall ceiling, backed by a dreamy soundtrack. Lie back for the best view of the ceiling and the models!

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3. After-hours mingling at our second Painted Hall Late

Visitors enjoy the Painted Hall after dark at our Friday Late

Visitors enjoy the Painted Hall with a glass of wine at our Friday Late

After our first Painted Hall Late sold out last November, we're proud to announce The Celestial City, the second of our Painted Hall Lates this March. A more informal way to experience the Painted Hall, enjoy a range of activities and entertainment (to be announced) and get up close to the Painted Hall ceiling.

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4. Discuss the difficulties of conserving the Painted Hall - in the hall itself

Will Palin leads a panel of experts in the Painted Hall

Join Will Palin and other conservation experts in the Painted Hall for a lively panel discussion

It's not easy running a two year conservation project! Conservation Director Will Palin brings together a panel of experts for a discussion on the challenges of conserving large buildings, focusing on the difficulties of introducing new technologies to old buildings such as the Painted Hall. Join us amongst the scaffold of the Painted Hall itself for Beauty or the Beast? New Architecture in Old Buildings.

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5. Celebrate a time-honoured tradition in the Chapel

The Chapel Choir perform in the Neoclassical Chapel

Led by Ralph Allwood, the Chapel Choir perform Purcell's Requiem in the Neoclassical Chapel

A time-honoured tradition at the Old Royal Naval College, the Founder's Evensong marks the anniversary of the funeral of Queen Mary II, who built the site with her husband King William III. Mary provided much of the funding for the Royal Hospital, as well as the site; these buildings would later become the Old Royal Naval College. 

The service will include music specially written by Henry Purcell for the Queen’s funeral, played on period instruments, as well as vocals by the Chapel Choir. 

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