Presided over by a ‘Merry Monarch’ eager to enjoy himself after years of exile, England after 1660 is typically known for reacting against the austerities of Puritan rule. The reign of Charles II bore witness to the Great Fire of London, the Great Plague, the first women on the stage, as well as the First Anglo-Dutch trade wars. By contrast, the Restoration Court was famed throughout Europe for its hedonistic pursuits and notorious personalities, including the manifold royal mistresses.
However, amongst the frivolities of Court life, the King became a fervent patron of the arts and sciences, founding the Royal Society, as well as favouring the work of architect Sir Christopher Wren. It was Wren he chose to bring to life his vision of a home for veteran soldiers ‘broken by age or war’: the Royal Hospital Chelsea, a monument that would stand the test of time.
Join the iconic Chelsea Pensioners for this lively 1.5 hour visit, where you may meet some of history’s most notable figures along the way…
Suitable for adults, this tour includes a visit to the Great Hall, Wren Chapel, and the magnificent Figure Court. Please note that some of the tour takes place outside and visitors should come prepared for bad weather. The tour is wheelchair accessible, but please let us know in advance if you require the use of our lifts.
This event forms part of the 2023 Chelsea History Festival:
Chelsea History Festival