Bonfire Night at the Old Royal Naval College, London
© marcin_libera/Getty Images Plu
Remember, remember…. Bonfire Night
On Bonfire Night, we’re in the London borough of Greenwich where fireworks illuminate the sky over the Old Royal Naval College and The Queen’s House. At the time of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, neither of these buildings existed. However, the Queen’s House, in the centre of the picture, was built during the reign of James I, the target of the famous plot. Said to be the first truly Classical building in England, it was designed by the great architect Inigo Jones and marked a break from the traditional red-brick architectural style of the Tudor era. It was commissioned in 1616 by James I’s wife, Anne of Denmark, apparently a gift from the king as an apology for swearing in front of her.
The Old Royal Naval College, in the foreground, was built from 1696. It was designed by another famous architect, Sir Christopher Wren, to be used as a charitable institution for naval veterans. It became a renowned Naval training college between 1873 and 1997 and, these days, is the architectural centrepiece of the wider Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site.
In the UK, 5 November marks the foiling of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament and James I and is accompanied by the sound of exploding fireworks and crackling bonfires.