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Trinity Hospital Greenwich
   
Summary: Trinity Hospital almshouses were founded by the Earl of Northampton, on the site of Lumley House, where Robert Dudley, Duke of Leicester grew up, and Queen Elizabeth I is known to have visited. Northampton set up his charity in 1613 for 12 'poor men' of Greenwich and 8 from Shottisham in Norfolk, the place of his birth, hence the name Norfolk College by which the almshouses were also known. He demolished Lumley House and Trinity Hospital was built in 1613/14, facing onto the river and set around a quadrangle with cloisters around a courtyard, and simple gardens behind.
Previous / Other name: Norfolk College
Site location: Highbridge, Greenwich
Postcode: SE10 9PS > Google Map
Type of site: Private Garden
Date(s): 1613
Designer(s):
Listed structures: LBII*: Trinity Hospital. LBII: Lodge to Trinity Hospital, front wall.
Borough: Greenwich
Site ownership: Mercers' Company
Site management: Mercersí Company as trustee of the Earl of Northamptonís Charity
Open to public? Occasionally
Opening times: private; but tours of house/chapel/gardens open for Open House
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Events: Tours organised by the Greenwich Society for Open House
Public transport: DLR: Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich. Rail: Maze Hill. Bus 177, 180, 188, 199, 286, 386. Tube North Greenwich (Jubilee) then bus.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/09/2008
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.mercers.co.uk

Fuller information:

In 1609 Lumley House was purchased for £500 by Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton, whose family had had connections with Greenwich from the end of the C14th, and he had lived in a lodge of Greenwich Park in his youth. In 1604 Northampton had taken a lease on the manor of Old Court, and he also bought the keepership of Greenwich Park, apparently wishing to reunite the by then divided estate as it had existed under the ownership of the abbot of Ghent. However, to Northampton's great disappointment James I repossessed the park for Queen Anne. In 1613 Northampton set up his charity for 12 'poor men' of Greenwich and 8 from Shottisham in Norfolk, the place of his birth, hence the name Norfolk College by which the almshouses were also known. He demolished Lumley House and Trinity Hospital was built in 1613/14, facing onto the river and set around a quadrangle with cloisters around a courtyard, with simple gardens behind. The chapel was dedicated on 4 February 1617; it has a C16th Flemish window showing the Crucifixion, which is thought to have been rescued from a fire in a previous house owned by the Howard family. Northampton had apparently changed his wish to be buried here and left instructions that he be buried at Dover Castle, in despair after his dream of retaining Greenwich failed. He died in 1615 (?1614); a monument to him by Nicholas Stone was erected in Dover Castle Chapel in 1615, but when the Chapel had fallen into ruins Northampton's monument was transferred by the Mercers' Company in 1696 to Trinity Hospital Chapel where it remains, albeit in pieces.

In 1812 Trinity Hospital Chapel was rebuilt, and the building was stuccoed and battlements added. Trinity Hospital became overshadowed by Greenwich Power Station, which was built in 1902-1910 to the east, and also lost its frontage directly onto the river. There is now a small area of landscaping on the public forecourt in front of the almshouse gates along Thames Path. The Greenwich Meridian passes through the site of Trinity Hospital and in honour of this the Mercers' Company commissioned two sundials for the Garden Building in 2007. The Latin motto on the sundials is taken from Ecclesiastes (Chapter 3, verse 1): "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." The almshouses continue to provide accommodation for the elderly people of Greenwich. New accommodation was added when the Garden Building was built within the grounds, which opened in October 2007, providing 31 flats. Refurbishment of the Riverside Building is adding a further 12-14 refurbished flats clustered around the original courtyard.

Sources consulted:

Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 2: South (Penguin) 1999 p271, Beryl Platts 'A History of Greenwich' 2nd ed. (Procter Press), 1986; Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); K D Clark, 'Greenwich and Woolwich in Old Photographs' (Alan Sutton) 1990; Robert and Celia Godley, 'Greenwich: A history of Greenwich, Blackheath, Charlton, Deptford and Woolwich', 1999.
Grid ref: TQ387780
Size in hectares: 0.81
   
On EH National Register : No
EH grade:
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No
Protected under London Squares
Preservation Act 1931:
No
 
The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
On Local List:
In Conservation Area: Yes
Conservation Area name: Greenwich Park
Tree Preservation Order: Yes
Nature Conservation Area: No
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: Yes - Area of Special Character of Metropolitan Importance.
Other LA designation: (Riverside walk)
   

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