In 1675, King Charles II commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to build the Royal Observatory Greenwich. (Wren, an architect and astronomer, also built St Paul’s Cathedral and Kensington Palace, among other world-famous structures). It was the king’s intention to establish a way for British ships to measure time and distance while they were navigating the seas.
The Royal Observatory was originally named Flamsteed House after John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal, who used the building to plot all the stars visible in the northern and southern hemispheres, and to develop accurate clocks.
The observatory sits on a hill in the picturesque Greenwich Park. In the late 19th century it was established that this spot would be the Prime Meridian of the world, with a longitude of 0° 0' 0''. Visit the Royal Observatory Greenwich to learn more about this important historical landmark!
Throughout the Year
Entry to the Royal Observatory
United Kingdom SE10 8XJ