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Grant awarded to historic Greenwich attraction

The Painted Hall is in need of long-term conservation. Picture: James Brittain The Painted Hall is in need of long-term conservation. Picture: James Brittain

Luke Jacobs
Thursday, November 8, 2012
8:00 PM

The Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich has received a much needed cash injection to preserve one of its most treasured public attractions.

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The £335,000 grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund will go towards the costs of conservation work in the Painted Hall, as well as a programme of public, community and learning events.

It is almost 60 years since the last major conservation work in the Painted Hall. It will include consolidation of plaster and paint layers, and repair of old water damage, paint flaking and varnish blanching.

Sue Bowers, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for London said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund has invested some £75 million in the royal borough, and now added to the list of projects is the Painted Hall Project which is considered to be one of the UK’s finest baroque interiors. “We’re delighted to support the restoration of the west wall with a confirmed grant and look forward to its original beauty being revealed for all to enjoy.”

It was created in the early 18th century by Sir James Thornhill for Sir Christopher Wren’s Royal Hospital, for Seamen and is currently open to the public daily, and free of charge.

“When the Greenwich Foundation took over management of the Old Royal Naval College it committed to look after Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece for the nation for generations to come,” said chief executive Brendan McCarthy.

“The support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, together with that of all those who have given to our continuing appeal, is enabling us to carry out long overdue work on this very important interior.”

It is hoped that the long-term conservation plan for the whole of the Painted Hall will be completed over a number of years with an estimated total cost in excess of £2 million.

Subsequent work will focus on the large ceiling painting and window reveals in the lower hall, the smaller ceiling painting and remaining walls in the upper hall, and the main entrance vestibule and cupola.

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