The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

Open location in Google Maps: 51.483112, -0.004165


Situated on the River Thames, downstream of London Bridge and navigable to seagoing ships, it was the site of extensive docks. Pepys visited often and stayed in Greenwich during the Plague (1665) and Great Fire (1666).

6 Annotations

First Reading

GrahamT  •  Link

Pronounced Grennitch. London's Seaport
Situated on a bend in the Thames (Greenwich Reach) downstream of London Bridge and navigable to seagoing ships. It was the site of extensive docks. The area nearby is still called Docklands.
Greenwich is a Royal town. King Henry VIII, Bloody Mary and Elizabeth I were all born there.
Nowadays the home of the National Maritime Museum, The Queen's House (1635 - the model for the US White House), the Royal Observatory (1675), The Royal Naval College (1694) and of course the International 0 degree Prime Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time.
In 1665, there will be a stronger Pepys link than his visits to church and pub.
More here -
- but be careful, some Pepys spoilers.

Mary  •  Link

Also often pronounced Grinnitch.

vicenzo  •  Link

-----nice pix of "as it was" mod restoration of the restoration -----
The King, finding the old palace greatly decayed by time and the want of necessary repairs during the Commonwealth, ordered it to be taken down and commenced the erection…

a map of the area 1786: Blackheath Greenwich park and then Woolwich…

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Wenceslaus Hollar (Czech/British 1607-1677)

Long view of Greenwich with the future Royal Observatory on the left, the Queen's House in the centre and a view of the City of London in the distance.
Etching, 1637…

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Royal institutions in Greenwich -- The Royal Dockyard

Eager to create a strong, modern English Navy, Henry VIII founded the Royal Dockyard at Woolwich in 1512. It's main purpose was the building of his flagship, the beautiful and heavily armed Henri Grace a Dieu - known by all as Great Harry. Henry presided at her launch.

The Great Harry was one of a series of splendid fighting ships built at the Royal Dockyard, but she was accidentally destroyed by fire at Woolwich in 1553. In 1559 Queen Elizabeth launched "a fine ship newly built, and called by her own name" at the dockyard.

Illustrious history
Later, two of the greatest ships ever seen were constructed at Woolwich. They were the Royal Prince, completed in 1610 for James I, and the Sovereign of the Seas for his son Charles I in 1637. But the problems that would eventually close the Woolwich yard were already evident.

King James came to the launch of the Royal Prince with a great retinue of courtiers, but he returned to Greenwich "much grieved" when she became stuck in the dock gates. Much the same thing happened when Charles I, with his queen, came to the launch of the Sovereign of the Seas. The ship failed to enter the water, the tide being very poor.

Nonetheless, Woolwich continued to produce fine ships for the Royal Navy for another 250 years.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.









  • Feb