Address: Park Row, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF


Time: From 10.00am

Time Information:

Phone: 0208 858 4422

Entry Price: Free


800m from Greenwich

500m from Cutty Sark

The National Maritime Museum, together with the nearby Queen’s House, Royal Observatory and Cutty Sark are collectively known as the Royal Museums Greenwich.

The NMM was established by an Act of Parliament in 1934 and is today possibly the largest museum of its type in the world. It was opened in 1937 by King George VI who was accompanied on the journey down the Thames by his daughter, Princess Elizabeth who later became Queen Elizabeth II.

The museum contains over two million items which include unrivalled portraits of famous British sailors, models, maps, artefacts, photographs, manuscripts, instruments etc. There is also the vast Caird library which has the world’s most comprehensive maritime reference library and archive.

The building had been a school for sailors’ children from 1807 and then became the Royal Hospital School. In 1933 they relocated to Suffolk and the buildings were converted to house the museum. This took until 1951 and was largely at the expense of Sir James Caird.

Sir James has been by far the most important person in the development of the museum as in addition to his building work, he purchased over 11,000 items to start the museum off. The museum today awards the Caird Medal.

A collection of naval art had grown since 1823 in the Painted Hall of the nearby Old Naval College. This was transferred to the museum in 1936 and portraits of most famous sailors are on display.

The museum gives free admission to the public and attracts over two million people a year.

These Royal Museums form the best London sites for visitors to the east side of London.

Click on the pics below for an enlarged view and use the arrow towards the right edge of each pic to go on to the next.