British Listed Buildings

History in Structure

If you log in, you can comment on buildings, submit new photos or update photos that you've already submitted.

We need to upgrade the server that this website runs on. Can you spare a quid to help?.

Royal Observatory Flamsteed House, Greenwich

Description: Royal Observatory Flamsteed House

Grade: I
Date Listed: 8 June 1973
English Heritage Building ID: 200387

OS Grid Reference: TQ3884777335
OS Grid Coordinates: 538847, 177335
Latitude/Longitude: 51.4779, -0.0020

Location: The Avenue, Greenwich, Greater London SE10 8XJ

Locality: Greenwich
County: Greater London
Country: England
Postcode: SE10 8XJ

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

There is also a scheduled monument, Greenwich Observatory, at the same location as this building or very close to it. This may be related in some way or possibly a different name for the same structure.

Listing Text


Royal Observatory
Flamsteed House
TQ 3877 26/G54


1675-6 with later additions, attributed to Sir Christopher Wren. Main North
front of 2 storeys. 3 window centre with square 3-storey angle towers. Projecting
eaves cornices and domed caps with high vanes to towers. Red brick with white
stone quoins, both to towers and to main building. Very tall 1st floor with
projecting cornice and balustrade over between towers. Very long plain central
window in chamfered stone architrave. Wrought iron balcony. Side windows in
moulded, shouldered architraves. Stone string at 1st floor level. 7-window
ground floor. Parapet with stone coping has scrolled ramped inner part sweeping
up almost to cornice of main block. Moulded architraves to ground floor windows.
Door at left opening to walled terrace blocked at either end by 2-storey, 1-window
C18 pavilions in similar style with domes. Rear elevation a large canted bay
with coved and moulded cornice and balustraded parapet. 1st floor only visible
as 1-storey C19 brick extension masks ground floor. Entrance on East, in angle
at right, has porch protection with roof sloping up to front parapet. Side and
rear windows very long casements in shouldered, moulded stone architraves. Beneath
East window a plaque in richly carved baroque stone frame with serpentine open
pediment, bears Latin inscription stating that Charles II founded the observatory
in 1676. Inside a staircase with barley-sugar twist columns leads to the octagon
room containing historic portraits, telescopes and clocks. Coved, octagonal
ceiling centre wth decorative border. Moulded and coved cornice with garlands
in high relief and royal ciphers. A later staircase leads down to the rear extension
now laid out as a museum of historic astronomical instruments.

Listing NGR: TQ3888877321

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.