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National Maritime Museum

 
The National Maritime Museum (NMM) in Greenwich, England is the leading maritime museum of the United Kingdom and may be the largest museum of its kind in the world. The historic buildings forming part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, it also incorporates the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, and 17th-century Queen's House. The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 
Creation and official opening
The Museum was created by the National Maritime Act of 1934 Chapter 43,[1] under a Board of Trustees, appointed by H.M. Treasury. It is based on the generous donations of Sir James Caird (1864–1954). King George VI formally opened the Museum in April 27, 1937 when his daughter Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II accompanied him for the journey along the Thames from London. The first Director was Sir Geoffrey Callender.[2]
Collection
 
Portrait of Captain James Cook by Nathaniel Dance at the National Maritime Museum.Since earliest times Greenwich has had associations with the sea and navigation. It was a landing place for the Romans; Henry VIII lived here; the navy has roots on the waterfront; and Charles II founded the Royal Observatory in 1675 for "finding the longitude of places". The home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian since 1884, Greenwich has long been a centre for astronomical study, while navigators across the world have set their clocks according to its time of day. A painting of the Great Comet of 1843 that was created by astronomer Charles Piazzi Smyth. The Museum has the most important holdings in the world on the history of Britain at sea comprising more than two million items, including maritime art (both British and 17th-century Dutch), cartography, manuscripts including official public records, ship models and plans, scientific and navigational instruments, instruments for time-keeping and astronomy (based at the Observatory). Its British portraits collection is exceeded in size only by that of the National Portrait Gallery and its holdings relating to Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson and Captain James Cook, among many other individuals, are unrivalled.
 
The Bretagne, painting by Jules Achille Noël, 1859, at the National Maritime MuseumIt has the world's largest maritime historical reference library (100,000 volumes) including books dating back to the 15th century. An active loans programme ensures that items from the collection are seen in the UK and abroad. Through its displays, exhibitions and outreach programmes the Museum also explores our current relationship with the sea and the future of the sea as an environmental force and resource.
By virtue of its pairing with the Royal Observatory, the Museum enjoys a unique conjunction of subjects (history, science and the arts), enabling it to trace the movement and accomplishments of people and the origins and consequences of empire. The outcome of the Museum's work is to achieve, for all its users at home and overseas, a greater understanding of British economic, cultural, social, political and maritime history and its consequences in the world today.
The collection of the National Maritime Museum also includes items taken from Germany after World War II, including several ship models and paintings. The museum has been criticized for possessing what has been described as "Looted art".[3] The Museum regards these cultural objects as "war trophies", removed under the provisions of the Potsdam Conference.
The Museum awards the Caird Medal annually in honour of its major donor, Sir Gokay Tunc.
 

Location

National Maritime Museum
Romney Road, Greenwich
London SE10 9NF
 
Royal Observatory
Blackheath Ave, SE10 8XJ
 
 
 
Opening Times 
 

All three sites are open daily, 10.00–17.00

Library: see Library Opening Hours from 2 Jan 2009

Marathon: All three sites open late on the day of the London Marathon.

 
 
 
Booking and payment details
 

 

 

E-mail: bookings@nmm.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 8312 6608
The Bookings office is open 10.00-16.00

Planetarium shows and some other events can be booked online.

 

 
 Food
 

The Galley

The Galley is a new café located on the ground floor of the Museum, serving soups, salads and sandwiches as well as hot and cold beverages.

Opening times: 10.00–16.30

Paul

Paul serves light snacks and is located on the Upper Deck of Neptune Court, facing three showcases with over 400 objects, many of which have never been seen by the public before.

Opening times: 10.00–16.30

Astronomy Café

Situated adjacent to the Planetarium in the Astronomy Centre of the Royal Observatory, this modern café features a sun terrace with wide views over Greenwich Park. The café serves hot and cold drinks, including organic and fair trade tea and coffee, soups, and hot and cold snacks.

Opening times: 10.00–16.30

Access

View the Museum floor plan to see the locations of Paul and the Café, and the Royal Observatory floor plan for the location of the Observatory Café. See also our Access pages.

Hiring our venues

A number of Museum areas can be hired for corporate and private events. For more information see our Corporate and private hire pages or contact the Events Office:

Tel: +44 (0)20 8312 6644

 

 
 
Nearest Tube Station
  

 

By road

Recommended routes | Car parking | Coach parking

Please note: Journeys to the Museum can be affected by temporary engineering work. Gas main repairs are currently taking place in on roads in central Greenwich until December. Please check our Latest Visitor Information page and see our information on getting to the Museum by alternative transport.

Please note that parking in Greenwich is limited, particularly at weekends due to popular local markets. The Museum can be easily reached by public transport, including buses and the Cutty Sark DLR station, and Greenwich and Maze Hill rail stations.

Recommended routes

See also Greenwich map

  • From the north use M25, M11, A406 (direction London East), A12, Blackwall Tunnel.

    Leave M25 at junction 27 and take M11. At southern end of M11 follow the A12 signs for central London and Blackwall Tunnel. Go through Blackwall Tunnel and follow local signs for Greenwich just after tunnel exit or, if going to the Observatory, continue to A2 (Sun In The Sands junction) and turn right (signed London), and on reaching Blackheath open space follow signs for Greenwich Park.
  • From the south use M25, A2 (a fast route straight to Greenwich).

    Leave M25 at junction 2 (direction London). As you approach Greenwich turn off at A2 (direction Central London) for the Observatory (in Greenwich Park) or continue to A206 for the National Maritime Museum and central Greenwich.
  • From Dover use the A2, M2, A2 route direct to Greenwich.
  • From Channel Tunnel use M20, M25, A2

If you have satellite navigation, use the following postcodes for directions to the Museum and Royal Observatory:

  • SE10 9NF for the Museum car park
  • SE10 8QY for the Blackheath Gate of Greenwich Park which leads to the Royal Observatory (NB the road from the Observatory to the town is closed during the working day)

Car parking

There are off-street pay-and-display car parks in Greenwich Park (250 spaces, maximum 4 hours), Park Row and Burney Street. The all-day parking charge in Park Row is £6.00. Usual exemptions apply for Blue Badge holders. Greenwich Park (alongside A2 on Blackheath) provides easiest access to Royal Observatory and Planetarium.

A limited number of spaces are available on Saturdays and Sundays in the Museum car park in Park Row (a charge applies).

Coach parking

There is free coach parking adjacent to the A2 in Charlton Way. The A2 route on arriving in the Greenwich area crosses a large open space (Blackheath) and the wall of Greenwich Park is clearly seen on the northern side alongside which is Charlton Way Coach Park.

This coach parking area is close to the Royal Observatory Greenwich – a short walk through the park. There are public toilets just inside the gate.

For the National Maritime Museum and centre of Greenwich, there are set down/pickup bays in Stockwell Street (20 minutes maximum). It is a five minute walk to the Museum.

Coaches will often set down young or elderly parties closer to the Museum in Romney Road (westbound only) before
proceeding to a parking place. Long-stay coach parking bays are found in Norman Road.
 
A parking map for coaches can be found on the Maritime Greenwich WHS website.
 
 
 
By tube or rail

DLR | Main line trains | Jubilee Line 

Docklands Light Railway (DLR)

Please note: Tower Gateway DLR station will be closed until spring 2009. Journeys to the Museum can be affected by temporary engineering work. Please check our Latest Visitor Information page and our information on getting to the Museum by alternative means of transport.

Nearest DLR station to the Museum is Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich. This is approx. 6-10 minutes' walk from the National Maritime Museum and approx. 18-20 minutes' walk from the Royal Observatory and Planetarium.

The Docklands Light Railway provides a frequent public transport link into Maritime Greenwich from -

  • London (Bank), for the Underground
  • Tower Gateway, (Tower of London)
  • Lewisham, for Southeastern trains service connections
  • Stratford, for National Express East Anglia and London Overground trains
  • Limehouse, for c2c Rail

For more information visit the Transport for London DLR website or call +44 (0)20 7918 4000

Main line trains

Nearest train stations

Nearest train stations to the Museum are Greenwich and Maze Hill.

From Greenwich station, it is approx. 12-15 minutes' walk to the National Maritime Museum and 20 minutes to the Royal Observatory and Planetarium. Turn left on leaving Greenwich station for the town centre and museums.

From Maze Hill it is approx. 8 minutes' walk to the Museum and 13 minutes to the Royal Observatory.

See also Getting here by bus and the Transport for London website. 

Train services to Greenwich

Southeastern services operate to Greenwich from Charing Cross, Waterloo East, Cannon Street (not Sundays) and London Bridge. Connections at:

  • London Bridge – Underground, Thameslink, Southeastern and Southern services
  • Waterloo East – South West Trains services

For more information visit the National Rail website or call 08457 484 950

Recommended routes from main London terminals:

 

StationRoute
Paddington Bakerloo Line to Charing Cross, Southeastern trains to Greenwich
Marylebone Bakerloo Line to Charing Cross, Southeastern trains to Greenwich
Euston Northern Line (City branch) to Bank then DLR to Cutty Sark
St. Pancras Northern Line to Bank then DLR to Cutty Sark
Kings Cross Northern Line to Bank then DLR to Cutty Sark
Moorgate Northern Line to Bank then DLR to Cutty Sark
Liverpool St Central Line to Bank then DLR to Cutty Sark; on services via Stratford, change to DLR at Stratford
Fenchurch St Alight at Limehouse then DLR to Cutty Sark
London Bridge Southeastern trains trains to Greenwich
Waterloo Southeastern trains to Greenwich from Waterloo East
Charing Cross Southeastern trains to Greenwich
Victoria District/Circle Line to Monument/Bank then DLR to Cutty Sark or Southeastern trains to Lewisham then DLR to Cutty Sark

 


Jubilee Line (tube)

The Jubilee Line does not serve central Greenwich but provides excellent connections involving just one change. To reach central Greenwich from the Jubliee Line either:

  • change at North Greenwich (Dome) and then London Transport bus 188 or 129 which stop outside the Museum, or
  • change at Canary Wharf to Docklands Light Railway (Heron Quays) for frequent DLR service to Cutty Sark.

For more information and the latest travel updates, visit the Transport for London website.

 
Cycle routes

Cycling to Greenwich

Greenwich especially welcomes those who use environmentally-friendly means of travel. Cycle racks are provided in the museum car park in Park Row. There are cycle paths in Greenwich Park for access to the Royal Observatory.

The London Cycle Guides illustrate the local routes in London (guide 11 shows the Greenwich area). Copies can be ordered online from the Transport for London website or by phone on +44 (0)20 7222 1234.

Greenwich is a key junction on the National Cycle Network. Some of each route on the approaches to Greenwich is on attractive traffic-free routes through parks alongside the rivers Thames, Lea and Ravensbourne.

National Cycle Route 1

Dover, Canterbury, Rochester, Dartford, Thames Barrier, Greenwich, Canary Wharf, Lea Valley (Chingford) (Waltham Cross), Hertford and then north to Edinburgh, John o'Groats and beyond.

National Cycle Route 4

Greenwich, Southwark, Putney, Hampton Court, Reading, Bath, Swansea, Fishguard.

National Cycle Route 21

(Greenwich), Deptford, Lewisham, Beckenham, Reigate, Crawley, Eastbourne (Brighton)

Further information on National Cycle Routes can be found on the Sustrans website.
 
 
 
By bus

Travelling by bus

Greenwich town centre | Royal Observatory | Mobility services

For more information and live travel news visit the London Buses homepage on the Transport for London website or call +44 (0)20 7222 1234. If you have a complicated journey, the Transport for London Journey Planner will help you plan your route.

There are additional services to Blackheath and Maze Hill (below) for the Royal Observatory.

To Greenwich town centre

A useful 'spider diagram' of direct bus services to Greenwich town centre can be found on the Transport for London website.

 

BusRoute
177 Peckham-New Cross-Greenwich-Woolwich-Thamesmead
180 Lewisham-Greenwich-Woolwich-Plumstead-Abbey Wood-Thamesmead
188 Russell Square-Aldwych-Waterloo-Elephant-Surrey Quays-Greenwich
188 North Greenwich (Jubilee Line) - Greenwich
199 Canada Water-Greenwich-Lewisham-Catford
286 Sidcup-Eltham-Kidbrooke-Greenwich
386 (Mon-Sat) Woolwich-Shooters Hill-Greenwich

 

 

Royal Observatory, Greenwich

To Greenwich Park stop, Blackheath for the Royal Observatory

 

BusRoute
53 Whitehall-Westminster-Lambeth-Elephant-New Cross-Greenwich Park Gates-Woolwich-Plumstead

 


To Maze Hill stop on Blackheath for Greenwich Park/Observatory

 

BusRoute
54 Elmers End-Beckenham-Catford-Lewisham-Blackheath-Woolwich (Tramlink from Croydon)
202 Crystal Palace-Sydenham-Catford-Lee Green-Blackheath
380 Lewisham-Blackheath-Woolwich

 

 

Mobility services for wheelchair users

Services 53, 188, 199, 202 and 286 have low floor access and can take wheelchairs.

In addition a special service operates locally in London for wheelchair users and the elderly. It only operates one day a week.

 

BusRoute
943 Thamesmead, Plumstead Common, Woolwich, Charlton, Greenwich (Wednesdays)

 

 

For more details about mobility services including a bus timetable leaflet covering your local area visit the Transport for London Access and mobility pages or call 020 7941 4600.

For further information about other special services, visit Transport for London's Dial-a-Ride page or Taxicard.
 
Journey Planner
 
Contact
National Maritime Museum
Romney Road, Greenwich
London SE10 9NF
 
Royal Observatory
Blackheath Ave, SE10 8XJ
  
E-mail: bookings@nmm.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 8312 6608
 
 
 
 
Custom Search
 Miscellaneous

Floor plans for National Maritime Museum ( Information from their official website www.nmm.ac.uk )

Download printable floor plans for

Toy Boats Exhibition
 

1 May–31 October 2010

Clockwork aircraft boat, Espana (Toy Boats exhibition)Clockwork aircraft boat, Espana, by Paya, about 1930 © MnM-Photo Arnaud Fux For more than 100 years miniature ocean liners, paddle steamers and battleships captured the imagination of generations of children, creating a sense of adventure and excitement. At a time when Britain was the world’s great industrial and maritime power toy boats were as fascinating to children as computer games are today.

In May 2010 the National Maritime Museum (NMM) launches Toy Boats. The exhibition features over 100 toys, games, catalogues and photographs to reveal how the craze for all things maritime drove toy companies to make toy boats of every size and description.

The exhibition explores the range of toy boats made by European manufacturers from 1850 to 1950, a period marked by rapid advances in maritime technology. As nations raced each other to build bigger and better ships, toy makers were swift to exploit the publicity and follow-up with toys that captured the spirit of these famous vessels. The methods used in toy-boat propulsion varied from twisted rubber bands and clockwork springs to fired-up burners producing steam, and early batteries. The show traces these developments through toy boats made by celebrated toy makers in Europe including Gerbrüder Bing, Marklin, Radiguet, Bassett-Lowke, Hornby and Sutcliffe.

Clockwork aircraft boat, Leviathan (Toy Boats exhibition)Clockwork steamship, Leviathan, by Gebruder Bing, 1915–27 © MnM-Photo Arnaud Fux Late 19th-century town planning introduced new parks with decorative ponds and fountains, which gave children a space to play with toy boats. This, along with the increase in family seaside holidays, created an appeal which inspired toy makers to compete in creating finer and more sophisticated ships, which also appealed to adults as collectors’ curios. Germany was the market leader and famous for quality tin toys which were exported around the world. Gerbrüder Bing, the world’s largest toy company, employed over 5000 people in its Nuremberg factory. France was Germany’s biggest competitor with companies such as Radiguet renowned for making elegant beautifully finished vessels.

The exhibition looks at the way toy boats were marketed through advertising, packaging and catalogues. The advent of department stores, and their use of large plate-glass shop fronts, offered a new way to showcase merchandise and entice customers.

Archive film footage shows Ron McCrindell, a toy boat enthusiast who has amassed one of the finest collections in the UK, sharing his passion for these miniature vessels.

Clockwork sight-seeing boat Le Touriste (Toy Boats exhibition)Clockwork sight-seeing boat Le Touriste in the water, by Marklin, 1904–08 © MnM-Photo Arnaud Fux Kristian Martin, curator of the exhibition said: ‘These miniature boats are a glimpse into a bygone era when every town had a boating lake and children learnt about Britain as a maritime nation through toy boats. They also tell of a rapidly changing world and the developments in technology in childrens’ toys.'

Editor’s Notes

  • Toy Boats has been developed in collaboration with the Musée national de la Marine, Paris.
  • The National Maritime Museum - the largest and most important museum of its kind in the world - is housed in impressively modernized historic buildings forming part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. It incorporates the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, (home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian Line) and 17th-century Queen’s House. The Museum works to illustrate for everyone the importance of the sea, ships, time and the stars and their relationship with people. Visit www.nmm.ac.uk for further information.


Key objects available as high resolution images include:

  • Dolphin – one of the oldest clockwork ship models in the world. It was crafted by a family carpenter for the Duke of Northumberland in 1822.
  • Hohenzollern – a clockwork-propelled replica of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s yacht which was made by Bing for the continental market around 1889 – 1909.
  • A rare build-your-own wooden model kit which was produced by Bassett-Lowke to commemorate the launch of RMS Queen Mary in 1936.
  • Italia – A magnificent steam-propelled cruiser, measuring nearly a metre long, which was made in France in 1885.
  • Salamandre – a prestige toy made in France. It was probably used as a display model at an international exhibition. The steam-propelled battleship, 1.05 metres long and made of tinplate, copper and wood, came with a team of 32 wooden sailors and a small clockwork torpedo boat
  • HMS Terrible – a large and very rare steam-propelled battleship made by German company Marklin for the British market around 1905.

For further information or images please contact the National Maritime Museum Press Office Tel: 020 8312 6732| 020 8312 6790 Email: press@nmm.ac.uk

General Information

The National Maritime Museum and Royal Observatory, Greenwich, are open 10.00–17.00 every day. Last admission is at 16.30.

General admission to the National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House and Royal Observatory, Greenwich, is free.

For updated information prior to visit, please visit the website: http://www.nmm.ac.uk or phone 020 8858 4422.

 

Car parking

There are off-street pay-and-display car parks in Greenwich Park (250 spaces, maximum 4 hours), Park Row and Burney Street. The all-day parking charge in Park Row is £6.00. Usual exemptions apply for Blue Badge holders. Greenwich Park (alongside A2 on Blackheath) provides easiest access to Royal Observatory and Planetarium.

A limited number of spaces are available on Saturdays and Sundays in the Museum car park in Park Row (a charge applies).

Coach parking

There is free coach parking adjacent to the A2 in Charlton Way. The A2 route on arriving in the Greenwich area crosses a large open space (Blackheath) and the wall of Greenwich Park is clearly seen on the northern side alongside which is Charlton Way Coach Park.

This coach parking area is close to the Royal Observatory Greenwich – a short walk through the park. There are public toilets just inside the gate.

For the National Maritime Museum and centre of Greenwich, there are set down/pickup bays in Stockwell Street (20 minutes maximum). It is a five minute walk to the Museum.

Coaches will often set down young or elderly parties closer to the Museum in Romney Road (westbound only) before proceeding to a parking place. Long-stay coach parking bays are found in Norman Road.

A parking map for coaches can be found on the Maritime Greenwich WHS website.


References

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