A Brief History of Greenwich Park

Greenwich Park covers 73 hectares (183 acres) and is the oldest enclosed Royal Park. It is situated on a hilltop with impressive views across the River Thames to the Docklands and the City of London, between Blackheath and the River Thames.
Greenwich Park provides a setting for several historic buildings, including the Royal Observatory, the Old Royal Naval College, the National Maritime Museum and the Queen's House.
There has been a settlement on this site since Roman times, but Greenwich has always been strongly associated with royalty. After the land was inherited in 1427 by the Duke of Gloucester, brother of Henry V, generations of monarchs have taken this magnificent park to their hearts.
Greenwich was the birthplace of Henry VIII who introduced deer to the park. His two daughters Mary I and Elizabeth I were also born here, and his son Edward VI died in Greenwich before he reached his sixteenth birthday. In the early 1660s, the park was laid out in the French style with many trees planted, some of which remain today. James I gave the palace and the park to his wife, Queen Anne, who commissioned Inigo Jones to design her a special home which became known as the Queen's House.
It was Charles II's great interest in science that resulted in the founding of The Royal Society in 1661. He commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to build the Royal Observatory, Britain’s oldest scientific institution. It was named Flamsteed House after the first Royal Astronomer John Flamsteed and is now part of the National Maritime Museum.
The park has been open to the public since the early 19th century and has always attracted visitors from far and wide to enjoy the views, the open spaces and the variety of its trees and flower gardens.
Today the park is part of the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site.