Greenwich’s battery of marine and royalty related museums has been expanded today with the opening of Discover Greenwich. Housed in the Old Royal Naval College on the river front, the £6 million contemporary venue presents Greenwich’s maritime history with never seen before artefacts, an examination of the architecture of the era and a mass of interactive learning pieces guaranteed to evoke the kid in all of us.
Given the site of the collection and Greenwich’s current crop of museums and historical venues, Discover Greenwich complements well by focusing on the architecture of the period and displaying artefacts turned up during various excavations in the area.
A beautiful stained glass window from the original Tudor Greenwich Palace showing King Henry VIII’s and Anne Boleyn’s coat of arms has been recreated from pieces of several originals discovered during digs. Also on display is a Greenwich Witch Bottle, displayed alongside its original and amazingly still intact contents of urine, fingernails, hair and nails.
Opening alongside Discover Greenwich is The Old Brewery, a microbrewery with cafe and restaurant. Run by award winning Meantime Brewing Company, the company brings brewing back to the location from which it was piped directly to the Royal Hospital for Seamen some 150 years ago. Back then, retired sailors were allowed a ration of three pints a day. These days, the rations will be for paying customers (mostly tourists and commuters, we reckon). The restaurant/bar/cafe is attractive and comfortable and offers a range of beers from its own facilities and beyond. Taking an “experimental” approach, The Old Brewery intends to revive ancient recipes that used unusual ingredients such as “bog myrtle” or wormwood and to create “avant-garde” beers such as Mojito Pilsners and juniper pale ales.
Londonist was invited along to the press opening yesterday morning. We hope you enjoy our photos from the event.
co-written by ClaireG and Chris Osburn