GREENWICH a place possessing various titles to celebrity,comes next in the list. It was a royal residence at an early period; and after a palace had been built, and a park enclosed, by Humphrey duke of Gloucester, it became a favourite seat of several sovereigns. At this place was born Henry VIII and his daughters Mary and Elizabeth. After the Restoration,Charles II finding the palace of Greenwich in a ruinous condition, caused it to be taken down, and directed a magnificent edifice to be erected on the spot. One wing only was raised of the new building, at which Charles occasionally resided; but in the reign of William III a design having  been formed of founding an asylum for aged and disabled seamen, sir Chr.Wren recommended that this unfinished palace should be enlarged and fitted for the purpose. Such was the origin of the  Greenwich hospital, one of the grandest pieces of architecture in this kingdom and perhaps of a style more adapted to its first than its secondary destination. It is however, an honour to the nation; and scarcely any work of art in the vicinity of the metropolis, affords an equally striking and interesting spectacle. An infirmary has been added to the hospital; and in the present reign a new and handsome edifice has been raised, attached to the same charity by way of a naval school.

Text: England Described etc (1818) by John Aikin M.D.

Map: Section from Kent by John Cary.

Jane Austen References

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 18th September 1796