You are here: Home : Search : Search Results : Detailed Result
  |   Print  

ROYAL HOSPITAL

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  ROYAL HOSPITAL CHELSEA, ROYAL CHELSEA HOSPITAL
DESCRIPTION + /

The Royal Hospital Chelsea was built in 1682-1692 and the original building was designed by the architect Sir Christopher Wren. The hospital was founded as a growing need for the recognition and care of poor, sick and disabled soldiers

The design for the hospital was based on the Hotel des Invalides in Paris and was originally designed to house 412 veteran soldiers and their officers and was made up of a single quadrangle (known as the Figure Court) surrounded on two sides by accommodation blocks and a hall and chapel.
The Figure Court is the oldest part of the hospital and was begun by Wren in 1682. The chapel was built in 1681-1687 and was also designed by Wren and is a good example of his ecclesiastical work. The chapel features wainscoting and pews by Sir Charles Hopson, a pulpit, carving by William Emmett and an organ case by Renatus Harris. There is a painting of the Resurrection in the half dome of the apse by Sebastiano Ricci which dates from 1714. The original building also features a Great Hall and Long Wards, which originally provided the washing facilities of the hospital.

The Royal Hospital Chelsea also features grounds; additional land was purchased for the site during James II’s reign. The grounds consist of the Ranelagh Gardens which were designed by Wren and originally featured canals, gazebos and summer houses. These were demolished in 1850-1868 when the Chelsea Embankment was constructed. The present Ranelagh Gardens were designed by John Gibson and the South Grounds are now used as the venue for the Chelsea Flower Show.

The inhabitants of the hospital are known as ‘Chelsea Pensioners’ and reside either in the hospital (‘In-Pensioners’) or live away from the site (‘Out-Pensioners’). Chelsea Pensioners wear distinctive red uniforms and often take part in ceremonies connected to the Royal Family and commemorative war ceremonies.

PICTURES + / -
DETAIL + / -
MORE INFORMATION & SOURCES
+ / -
RELATED MONUMENTS + / -
MONUMENT TYPES + / -
COMMENTS + / -
Please help us keep our information accurate let us know if you see any errors on this page.

Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.