“The secret of architectural excellence is to translate the proportions of a dachshund into bricks, mortar and marble.” ― Christopher Wren

At a Glance

  • In person visit to Greenwich
  • Day: Thursday 13 April 2023
  • Hours: 10:00 - 16:00
  • Tutor: Dr David McKinstry
  • Fee: £70
Booking link

Christopher Wren (1632-1723) was, in many people's opinion, England's greatest architect. Not only was he responsible for some of the most iconic buildings ever built in Britain, from the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, to the Royal Naval Hospital in Greenwich, to St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London, he was an accomplished scientist, town planner and more.

This one-day walking tour of the Royal Hospital and other buildings at Greenwich we celebrate the architecture of Sir Christopher Wren looking at the buildings themselves. The Royal Hospital is an English Baroque masterpiece, but it forms an ensemble with nearby buildings such as the Queen's House, Royal Observatory and St Alphege's Church, that are almost unique in London in forming a coherent development.

Alongside the stunning work of Wren himself, the list of designers involved in the Hospital itself reads like a 'who's who' of the most renowned seventeenth and eighteenth-century architects, all of whom either worked with Wren or were influenced by him. We will also look at the work of Inigo Jones in Greenwich to see how he influenced Wren.

The tour will include interior access to the Queen’s House and the Painted Hall, but much of the tour will be outdoors so suitable clothing is advised.

Timings: 10am-4pm (including one hour lunch break). The class takes place in Greenwich, and you will need to make your own way to the meeting point.

This day school trip is presented as part of the commemorations marking the 300th anniversary of Wren's death, taking place across the country this year under the banner of Wren300, coordinated by the Georgian Group.

Class Recordings

These classes are not recorded


Attendance Certificate


Successful completion of this course leads to the award of an Imperial College attendance certificate


Terms and conditions apply to all enrolments to this course. Please read them before enrolment

Course Information

Course Programme and Additional Reading

Course Programme

  • The Royal Naval Hospital, Greenwich
  • The Royal Observatory, Greenwich
  • St Alphege's Church, Greenwich
  • The Queen's House Greenwich
  • The Painted Hall (interior), Greenwich

The programme might be subject to change.

Your Tutor

David McKinstry is a renowned specialist in design history, formerly secretary to the Georgian Society and adviser to London local government on development applications for historical buildings in the city. He works as a freelance urban design and conservation professional within local government and recently completed a DPhil on metropolitan Italianate architecture at the University of Oxford. His research interests are mainly in urban design and civic and commercial architecture, particularity in relation to 19th-century Europe.

Course Fees and Rate Categories

HoursSessionsStandard RateInternal RateAssociate Rate
 6  1 £70
£70 £70
No Early Bird rate is available for this guided tour. Part-payments are not possible.

Rate Categories and Discounts

Standard Rate

  • Applicable to all except those who fall under the Internal Rate or Associate Rate category, respectively.

Internal Rate

  • Current Imperial College students and staff (incl. Imperial NHS Trust, Imperial Innovations, ancillary & service staff employed on long-term contracts at Imperial College by third-party contractors)
  • Individuals enrolling under our Friends & Family scheme
  • Staff of the English Chamber Orchestra
  • Current Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication (CLCC) staff, current CLCC PhD students, Science Communication (Sci Comm) postgraduate students, and students enrolled on an Imperial College 'Language for Science' degree programme should contact eveningclass@imperial.ac.uk before completing the online enrolment form

Associate Rate

  • Alumni of Imperial College and predecessor colleges and institutes
  • Austrian Cultural Forum staff
  • City & Guilds College Association members
  • Francis Crick Institute staff, researchers and students
  • Friends and Patrons of the English Chamber Orchestra
  • Friends of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens
  • Friends of Leighton House/ Sambourne House
  • Friends of the Royal College of Music
  • Harrods staff
  • Historic Royal Palaces staff
  • Lycee Charles de Gaulle staff
  • Members of the Friends of Imperial College
  • Members of the Kennel Club
  • Members of the London Zoological Society
  • Members of the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI)
  • Members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
  • National Health Service (NHS) employees
  • Natural History Museum staff
  • Residents of postcodes SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10 and W8
  • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council staff
  • Royal College of Art and Royal College of Music tutors and other staff
  • Royal Geographical Society staff
  • Science Museum staff
  • Staff of Exhibition Road Cultural Group (Discover South Kensington) organisations
  • Students (non-Imperial College)
  • Teachers and other staff of UK schools
  • Tutors and other staff of institution members of the Association of Colleges
  • Tutors and other staff of other universities and higher education institutions
  • Victoria and Albert Museum staff

Late enrolment

It is possible to enrol on many of our adult education courses after the course has already started. For non-language courses this is subject entirely to agreement by the tutor. For language courses it is subject to agreement by the language coordinator conducting level assessment. If you want to join a course late do bear in mind there might be work you will need to catch up on, particularly in language courses.

Friends and Family Scheme

This course is eligible for the  allowing Imperial College students and staff to share their discount with their friends and family.

Term Dates

HoursSessionsDateSpring termSummer term
 6  1 Thursday 13 April 2023* n/a n/a
* Guided tour

Enrolment Process

Web enrolment starts 1 August 2022

Enrolment and payment run through the Imperial College eStore. When enrolling:

  • Do check on the drop down menu above called "Course Fees and Rate Categories" to see if you are eligible for a discounted rate and also do make sure you select that rate when enrolling on the eStore
  • If you are a first-time eStore user you will need to create an account before enrolling. You can do this by entering an email address and password. This account can then be used for any future enrolments via the eStore.

When you have enrolled you will be sent the following email notifications:

What is sentWhen is it sentWhat does it contain
1. Payment confirmation Is sent instantaneously following submission of your online application
  • This is a receipt for your payment and includes payment date, order number and course title
  • Confirmation of your place on your chosen course will follow later
2. Enrolment confirmation Is sent within 10 working days. Please treat your payment confirmation as confirmation that your applicant details and payment have been received
  • Re-confirms your course choice
  • Shows your course's term dates
  • Confirms the day and time of your course
3. Programme information Is usually sent on Friday late afternoon the week before term starts
  • Contains joining instructions for your course, incl. tutor contact details
If you need further help with the above information please ring 020 7594 8756

Any Questions?

Questions regarding the content and teaching of this course should be sent to the tutor, Dr David McKinstry, dfmckinstry@gmail.com

If you have any questions about your enrolment or payment processes please contact the Programme Administrator, Christian Jacobi, eveningclass@imperial.ac.uk