Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

an

modating the wounded, Queen Mary desired to convert the building into a place for their reception, a design that William III., after her death, carried out, Sir Christopher Wren superintending the work gratuitously. In Queen Anne's reign, a repetition of the first building was erected, again under Wren's superintendence. When Lord Derwentwater's forfeited estates, worth £6000 a year, were given to the hospital, the buildings were completed as we now have them, saving that the oldest part was in some measure rebuilt in 1811, and that the present chapel was erected to replace one destroyed by fire in 1779. Greenwich

may be reached either by railway from London Bridge Station or by steam-boat. Both railway and river route are mentioned elsewhere in this volume.

The Hospital * is open free on Tuesdays and Fridays ; on the other days, 4d. for each person, not being soldier or sailor, is paid. The Painted Hall and the Chapel may be seen on week days from 10 to 7 in summer, and from 10 to 3 in winter ; on Sundays after service.

The buildings, consisting of four masses, and forming architectural group unparalleled in modern England,” are best seen for general effect from the river. A terrace 860 feet long stretches by the water, and here may be seen a granite obelisk to the memory of Lieutenant Bellot, the Frenchman who joined one of our polar expeditions, and lost his life by an accident. Of the two piles that front the river, the one nearer London is of Charles II.'s time, the opposite one was erected in Queen Anne's reign. Each of these measures 175 feet by 290 feet. In the middle of the ground between them has been placed a statue of George II. in Roman costume ; the marble was taken from the French by Sir George Rooke. Proceeding to the pile erected by Wren, behind Webb's building, we pass under the dome to the Painted Hall, 106 feet by 56, and 50 feet high. The walls and ceiling were painted by Sir James Thornhill between 1708 and 1727, his remuneration being £3 per yard for the ceiling, and £1 per yard for the walls, by which arrangement he made £6685. These paintings are not to our taste in these days, but Sir Richard Steele was of opinion that they were calculated to raise in the spectator “the most lively images of glory and victory, and could not be beheld without much emotion and passion.” In this hall are hung the portraits of many sea commanders, amongst which should be noticed Vansomer's Earl of Nottingham, Lely's Admiral Harman, and Captain Cook by Dance. There are many pictures representing naval engagements ; amongst which notice Zoffany's Death of Captain Cook ; Loutherbourg's Victory of Lord Howe of the 1st June ; Turner's Battle of Trafalgar ; and Sir W. Allan's Nelson boarding the San Nicholas. The state was at the expense of the statues of Sir Sidney Smith by Kirk, Lord Exmouth by: Macdowell, and Lord de Saumarez by Steel. That of Sir William Peel (by Theed), who fell in the Indian mutiny, was given by his brother. A monument, designed by R. Westmacott, has been lately erected in memory of Sir John Franklin and his companions. It is of marble, 18 feet high. One of the statues represents an officer studying the route of the ships, the other a man in deep despondency near icebergs.

* A fuller account than can be given here of Greenwich Hospital and the neighbourhood will be found in “Black's Guide to Kent."

In the Upper Hall are preserved various relics of our seamen's idol, Nelson ; the coat worn at the battle of the Nile; the coat and waistcoat which he wore when killed at Trafalgar, four stars of so many orders being sewn on the breast of the former, the undress-coat of a vice-admiral. In another case are some relics of the Franklin expedition. Notice also the astrolabe presented to Sir Francis Drake by Queen Elizabeth. The models of Anson's ship The Centurion, and The Royal George, which went down off Spithead in 1782, will interest the visitor.

In the Vestibule are some tattered flags, won in various hard fought combats, and pictures of Vasco de Gama and Columbus (copies).

Leaving this building and entering the opposite one, we pass under the dome to the chapel, a work in the Grecian style of Athenian” Stuart. It is of the same size as the Painted Hall, and is richly decorated. In the Vestibule are four statues personifying Faith, Hope, Charity, and Meekness, designed by West. The portal has been highly praised; the principal sculpture is by Bacon. The altar-piece, by West, depicts the shipwreck of St. Paul, and the same artist designed the pulpit and reading desk, both of lime tree, enriched with alti-relievi. Chantrey's monument to Sir R. Keats, and Behnes' to Sir Thomas Hardy, were given by William IV. Keats was lieutenant, and the king, when a boy, midshipman, on board the Prince George. Over the lower windows are monochrome paintings illustrating gospel history.

TAE DINING HALLS are below the chapel and the Painted Hall. Here about 1500 persons meet daily, whilst 1000 live in the infirmary or beyond the walls. One of the dormitories in the N.W. wing is shewn to visitors, who will see a long chamber divided by partitions into little recesses, each containing a bed. In the colonnade is an alto-relievo commen

emorating Nelson's battles.

The officers of the establishment consist of a governor, a lieutenant-governor, four captains, four commanders, eight lieutenants, two masters, six surgeons, and two chaplains.

The civil department is under the control of five commissioners, assisted by a secretary. The income is about £130,000 a year, of which £20,000 is a Parliamentary grant. The cost of maintaining the establishment is frequently complained of as unnecessarily heavy, and unfavourable comparisons in this respect have been made between it and a similar establishment in France.

In the neighbourhood of the hospital is the Royal Naval School, where 800 boys and 200 girls are clothed, fed, and educated.

Some of the hotels at Greenwich, such as the Trafalgar and the Crown and Sceptre, are noted for their whitebait dinners.

GREENWICH PARK, a picturesque piece of ground of 174 acres, contains some magnificent old elm trees planted in Charles II.'s time, and some elevations whence good views are obtained. On one of these stands the Royal Observatory of world wide celebrity, at the head of which is the Astronomer Royal G. B. Airy, F.R.S. It was built in 1675, but various additions have since been made. The cost to the nation of this establishment is about £4000 a year. Meteorological observations are made here as well as astronomical, and the collection of instruments for both sciences is large. The longitude is calculated from this observatory, and marked on all maps of English construction. At one o'clock every day the exact time is notified by the descent of a large ball on the spire of the eastern turret. By electric agency this is conveyed to London, and to all the chief towns of the kingdom where it is desirable to know Greenwich time. The public have free access to the park but not to the observatory.

WOOLWICH

May be visited either by means of a steamboat from Hungerford, London Bridge, or Blackwall, or by the North Kent Railway from London Bridge. The objects which make Woolwich deserving of a visit, are- -1. The Dockyard, 2. The Arsenal, and 3. The Royal Military Repository. 1. The Dockyard is open daily (Sundays excepted) from 10 to 4-admission free. Here ships of war will be seen in various stages of construction, with men and machinery actively at work sawing timber, casting metal, etc. There are here two dry docks of great size. The building and docks extend a mile along the river. 2. The Arsenal. Strangers are not allowed to enter the buildings without a signed order. Foreigners must apply for permission to the Dockyard and other establishments through their respective ambassadors. Here, in many buildings, is carried on the manufacture of implements of warfare. In the Foundry, cannon are cast and bored. In the Laboratory, cartridges, rockets, and other explosive articles, are constructed. In the Storehouses are the fittings for several thousand cavalry horses, and accoutrements. Within the Arsenal are 24,000 pieces of ordnance, and three millions of cannon balls in pyramidal piles. A vast quantity of weapons, powder, cartridges, etc. is preserved here. 3. In the Royal Military Repository and in the Rotunda are models of fortifications, and of barracks, batteries, and dockyards; cannon, and every kind of implement employed in warfare, with an immense number of curiosities, are to be seen here.

THE ROYAL MILITARY ACADEMY is not far from the Repository. Here cadets are educated for the artillery and engineers. The building, a castellated pile, built in 1805, cost £150,000. The average number of young men in the establishment is 160, but there is accommodation for nearly twice that number.

Another large building is the head-quarters of the Royal Sappers and Miners ; and not far off is the Field Artillery Depot. The Hospital is an extensive building with 700 beds.

THE ROYAL ARTILLERY BARRACKS have a frontage of 1200 feet, and are capable of holding 4000 men. The buildings include a chapel and library.

It will be seen from this summary that there is full employment for many hours at Woolwich.

THE CRYSTAL PALACE, Open from Monday to Friday inclusively, on payment of 1s. each person (except on certain special days notified in the newspapers), and on Saturday on payment of 2s. 6d., except during August, September, and October, when the admission is ls. Children under twelve half price. Non-transferable season tickets, admitting for a whole year, are issued two guineas and one guinea each person, with different privileges. The two guinea tickets admit on all occasions when the palace is open. The one guinea tickets admit only when the price of admission is under 5s. When the price of admission is 5s. or upwards, holders will be admitted on an uniform payment of 2s. 6d. Tickets may be obtained at the Crystal Palace Office, near the Central Transept Entrance ; at the offices of the London and Brighton Railway Company, London Bridge ; at the Victoria Station, Pimlico ; at the Central Ticket Office, 2 Exeter Hall, Strand ; and at various other places in London. Persons not holding tickets may either pay at the entrance to the palace, or at the railway stations on paying their fare. Much more detailed information than can be given here will be found in the Shilling Official General Guide, illustrated with plans and views, sold at the railway stations and in the palace. To those who do not drive, the railway, with

many

trains in the course of the day, from both the London Bridge Station and the Victoria Station, Pimlico, offers every facility for reaching the palace.

The Crystal Palace is seen from far, crowning Sydenham Hill with a structure of glittering glass, held together by iron. It owes its origin to the Exhibition building of 1851, a structure of the same materials, and designed by the same person, Sir Joseph Paxton, M.P. A joint-stock company, promoted by a number of gentlemen who believed that a permanent edifice might be of great service in furthering the education of the people, and affording them a large amount of innocent recreation at a cheap rate, purchased an estate which now comprehends about 200 acres, erected the buildings, and laid out the gardens, at an expense of nearly two millions sterling—a sum very much beyond

originally contemplated. The main building is 1608 fee long, with a width throughout the nave of 312 feet, increased to

« AnteriorContinua »