American Friends of
The Old Royal Naval College

A 501(c)3 charity
 

HISTORY

The Old Royal Naval College is the architectural centrepiece of Maritime Greenwich, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in London that has been described as the "finest and most dramatically sited architectural and landscape ensemble in the British Isles".

 

These stunning baroque buildings were originally constructed to serve as the Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich which was designed by Christopher Wren, and built between 1696 and 1712. The hospital closed in 1869 and between 1873 and 1998 it became the Royal Naval College, Greenwich.

A royal manor house had existed on this site in Greenwich since the early 1400s, but it was Henry VII who extended the buildings to create Greenwich Palace. As such, it was the birthplace of Tudor monarchs Henry VIIIMary I, and Elizabeth I, and in 1594 William Shakespeare and his company were invited to perform here at Court. The Palace fell into disrepair during the English Civil War and was finally demolished.

In 1694 the Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich was created on the instructions of Mary II, who had been spurred into action by the sight of wounded sailors returning from the Battle of La Hogue.

 

Wren’s architectural highlights included the Chapel and the magnificent Painted Hall, originally intended as the dining area for the pensioners.

The Painted Hall was painted between 1707 and 1726 by Sir James Thornhill to reflect the wealth and power of Britain at the time. The Hospital closed in 1869 and then in 1873, four years after the Hospital closed, the buildings were converted to a training establishment for the Royal Navy.

 

The Royal Navy finally left the College in 1998 when the site passed into the hands of the Greenwich Foundation for the Old Royal Naval College.

Since 1998, the site has had new life breathed into it through a mix of uses including welcoming the University of Greenwich as a resident. It has realised its aim of opening up to visitors who today can enjoy tours and talks, visits to the Painted Hall, the Nelson Room, the Skittle Alley and a museum within the Visitor Centre.

The site is regularly used for filming television and feature films. Productions have included Patriot GamesFour Weddings and a Funeral and The Madness of King George.

 

In April 2012 the site was used for the iconic barricade scenes in the film adaption of the musical Les Misérables and most recently it has been Buckingham Palace in The Crown and the backdrop for Netflix's worldwide phenomenon Bridgerton.

Painted Hall
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Nelson Room
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Chapel of SS Peter and Paul
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SUPPORT US

We want you to consider the Old Royal Naval College your cultural home in London, so please join our growing community of supporters and help us make Sir Christopher Wren’s architecture more alive than ever before in its 300 year history.

For further information on the Painted Hall Project please visit our project page or, if you would like to find out more about US President’s Circle and American Friends, please contact our Development Department.

 
 

ABOUT US

The American Friends of the Old Royal Naval College is a 501(c)3 charity formed on May 6th 2015.  Its principle activity is to fundraise for the Old Royal Naval College in the UK, and in particular for the Painted Hall Project, an $11million project to conserve the magnificent ceiling of the Painted Hall, descibed as the "Sistine Chapel of the UK".

Please see below for details of our Directors.

Robert H. Moore II

Robert H. Moore II is a Senior Vice President in the Global Wealth Management Group of Morgan Stanley, catering to the needs of clients domiciled in Australia and the United Kingdom.  
 
Robert is on the Boards of the American Friends of the National Gallery of Australia, the American Friends of the Australian National Maritime Museum, the American Friends of the Old Royal Naval College (Greenwich, UK), and the Royal Museums Greenwich (UK), as well as being an Ambassador of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.  He also supports the UK’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. 
 
Robert is a member of the New York Yacht Club, the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the Explorers Club and the National Arts Club.
 

Raymond Pepi

Raymond Pepi founded Building Conservation Associates in 1985. It is now one of the oldest and most experienced firms in the United States specializing in conservation and historic preservation. Raymond studied building conservation at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Historic Preservation. 
 
Raymond has published papers and lectured on a wide variety of conservation topics, including masonry cleaning, sandstone repair, terra cotta, stone restoration, bronze and stone statue restoration, cast iron, and digital tools for project management and maintenance.

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Natalie Pray

Born in Australia, Natalie Thomas Pray was an officer with the United Nations in New York from 1961 through 1995, working across the political, humanitarian, development, budget and management fields. Natalie married Malcolm Pray in 1995. In 2001 she became the first female officer of St. George's Society of New York and in 2005 the 95th and first woman President since the Society was founded in 1770.

 

Natalie was a member of the Society's Beneficiaries Committee for over five years and chaired the Honors Committee for eight years (1996-2004). She established a Scholarship Committee, awarding the Society’s first scholarships to students of British and Commonwealth heritage in 2008 and has raised over $5 million in support of its charitable aims.

 

In January 2013, she was awarded The Order of St. George and in May 2017 the Society's Medal of Honor at the English Ball. Natalie was also on the Board of the Palm Beach branch and has been President of the Greenwich Branch of The English Speaking Union since 2007 and is a member of The Board of Directors, Boy Scouts of America, Greenwich and of the American Boards of Directors of St.Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster Abbey, London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Globe Theatre in London.

 

She is also Commander (CStJ) of The Order of St. John. Natalie has authored two books about her travels in Europe and America with Malcolm Pray and his collection of classic cars: Malcolm's French Mistress and Malcolm's Metal Mistress.

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Nancy J Ruddy

Nancy J. Ruddy is a Founding Principal at CetraRuddy Architecture, an award winning global architecture and interior design firm founded in 1987 on the principle that architecture and design must engage the urban fabric while enriching the human spirit.

 

Nancy is actively engaged in design education and is an industry spokesperson on design innovation. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Baruch College’s Newman Real Estate Institute, is a member of the New York Public Library’s Real Estate Council and has served as a Board Member for the National Association of Women Business Owners.

 

Her honors include "100 Women Leaders for the 21st Century" by Real Estate Weekly and the Association of Real Estate Women; the Career Achievement Award of the School of Architecture of the City College of New York and an induction into the Interior Design Hall of Fame.

 

Julian Barrowcliffe

Julian Barrowcliffe is a Partner at Kimura Capital LLP, a London and New York based commodity trading firm which provides services to small and medium sized enterprises.
 
Prior to joining Kimura, Julian was Managing Partner of Chichester Capital Management, a commodities focused hedge fund which he founded in 2009. He has previously served as Global Head of Commodities Trading at Bank of America and as Head of Energy Trading at Merrill Lynch.
 
Julian is a member of the Royal Thames Yacht Club and a keen competitive sailor. He is also a Board Member of the Blue School, New York and a long-time resident of New York.

 

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Rodney Johnson

Rodney N. M. Johnson, MBE is Vice Chairman of The Queen Elizabeth II September 11th Garden and the Honorary Chairman of Allied Forces Foundation. He served as President of The St. George’s Society of New York for the years 2003 and 2004.

Born and educated in London he completed military service with the Royal Engineers in Germany. He spent the majority of his working life with Jaeger, the international designer apparel company, leading the company through a period of substantial growth, as President and CEO of the North American Division.

Mr. Johnson was honoured, by Her Majesty the Queen, with an MBE in the New Years Honours list 2001, for services to the British Community in New York. He lives in Darien Connecticut, with his wife Jennifer.

 

CONTACT

Matthew Mees

Treasurer

mmees@ornc.org

+44 (0) 20 8269 4754

 

Registered Office:

251 Little Falls Drive

Wilmington,

DE 19808

2 Cutty Sark Gardens,

Greenwich,

London,

SE10 9LW