Greenwich in Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Wellington HQ / Royal Laboratory
Wellington HQ/ Royal Laboratory
The Principal Officers of the Ordnance gave an estimate to the Treasury in 1694 for a new laboratory to be built, which was completed in 1696. It consisted of two ranges of buildings with a courtyard in between. All that remains are the original centres of the East and West sides, where the original doorways survive. The East pavilion has lost its pediment; the West one retains the Royal Cypher of William IlI in the pediment.
In 1854 a roof was placed over the courtyard and was at one time the largest machine shop under one roof In 1876 it contained 500 lathes driven by two steam engines and overhead shafts.
It retained an atmosphere of a quiet rural workshop for many years, until the need for more sophisticated ammunition and propellants were required.
The Model Room, later the Officers' Mess
The site of the original Tudor Manor, this became the second of Sir John Vanburgh's buildings designed for Woolwich Warren. In 1719 Tower Place was demolished and reconstructed generally following the original plan. The new front of the house contained two
By 1721 the second room, on the South side was erected to be the military academy.
When The Royal Military Academy was established in 1741, it took over the old Academy Room, and extensions were added as residences for the first and second masters.
When the Academy was moved to new accommodation on the Common in 1806, Tower Place became a museum and later The Pattern Room for The Royal Laboratory. After the Second World War the building became an Officers' Mess for the senior staff of The Royal Arsenal.
Of special interest are the two circular pedestals supporting a lion and a unicorn over the front doorway. These were almost certainly stood on the pillars at the sea gate entrance to The Royal Laboratory. Note also The dial weathervane, which enabled the gunners on the proof range situated at the far end of Wellington Avenue to identify wind direction.
( photo caption )
This painting depicts The Royal Laboratory in 1750. By 1854 it became the largest machine shop under one roof after the courtyard was roofed over.
( photo caption )
Finishing Shells, the removal of rust from cannon shot and shells. This dangerous work was often done by convicts as well as laborers. ( photo
Interior of The Royal Laboratory depicts workers making powder pellets. ( photo caption )
The dramatic marble statue of Wellington sculpted by Thomas Milnes was presented to the Board of Ordnance in 1848. ( photo caption )
A picture of The Royal Laboratory South Entrance.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Military.
Location. 51° 29.633′ N, 0° 4.179′ E. Marker is in Greenwich, England, in Greater London. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Plumstead Road and Woolwich New Road, on the right when traveling west. Located at No. 1 Street & Artillery Square in the Royal Woolwich Arsenal. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Greenwich, England SE18 6AE, United Kingdom. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Royal Arsenal (within shouting distance of this marker); Firepower (within shouting distance of this marker); Royal Military Academy (within shouting distance of this marker); Royal Regiment of Artillery (within shouting distance of this marker); The Paper Cartridge Factory (within shouting distance of this marker); Gun 2/86 (about 90 meters away, measured in a direct line); Gun 2/75 (about 90 meters away); James Clavell Square (about 90 meters away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Greenwich.
Also see . . .
1. Royal Arsenal History. (Submitted on June 9, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
2. Royal Arsenal on Wikipedia. (Submitted on June 9, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 27, 2022. It was originally submitted on June 9, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 96 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 9, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.