Royal Hospital Chelsea

Museums, History
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Royal Hospital Chelsea
Built between 1682 and 1692 by the architect of St Paul’s Cathedral, Sir Christopher Wren, the hospital is home to the Chelsea Pensioners, bachelor pensioners who served Britain in the armed forces during World War II and other conflicts. Architecturally, the hospital is noted for its Chapel, Great Hall, State Apartments and museum. Its extensive grounds provide the setting for the annual Chelsea Flower Show. The museum features a 1:300 scale model, with an audio presentation, illustrating the hospital and grounds in the eighteenth century, display boards relating the institution’s history, a mock-up of a residential room and Pensioner uniforms, medals and memorabilia.


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This place is a real hidden gem with a lot of charm. There is a small park/garden you can visit (no dogs allowed though) as well as the main grounds, a gift shop and a cafe that sells good cakes and coffee. It's a great place to unwind and take a break from the bustle of nearby King's Road. You will no doubt bump into a Chelsea Pensioner and many will take the time to chat to you and talk about the history of the Royal Hospital or their experiences. I was lucky and even got an impromptu tour of the dining room and chapel. It's an amazing place and really quite unusual. Not many people seem to know about it which is really quite cool.