The Royal Observatory, on the far left, was commissioned by King Charles II for John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal, and built by Sir Christopher Wren between 1675 and 1676. To the right on the river, the Palace of Placentia is in the process of being demolished and in its place we see the first range of the intended palace of Charles II rising, later the King Charles block of the Greenwich Hospital for naval pensioners. Next to it stands the Queen's House, designed by Inigo Jones between 1614 and 1617 for Anne of Denmark, wife of King James I of England. Ranging to the left of it are the houses of Crooms Hill, and beyond, the towers of the medieval St. Alphege, Greenwich and St. Nicholas, Deptford. The Palace of Placentia was originally built in the first half of the fifteenth century by Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, when Regent of England. It later became one of the principal royal palaces and both King Henry VIII and Queen Mary I were born there.
A painting of this view attributed to Jan Vorsterman was sold in these Rooms on 18 November 1966. We are grateful to Ralph Hyde for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.