The Wren London Series: Royal Hospital Chelsea

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5 Jul 2023
Royal Hospital Chelsea


If you seek his monument, look around.

Celebrating the life and work of Sir Christopher Wren, a fascinating series of talks will take place across London in four of Wren’s greatest buildings, the Wren London Series, from July – October 2023.  A speaker, or panel of speakers, will offer an in-depth perspective of Wren and his work at the Old Royal Naval College, St Paul’s Cathedral, Royal Hospital Chelsea, St James’s Piccadilly, and onboard a specially commissioned Uber Boat by Thames Clippers vessel.  The Wren London Series is part of Wren 300, a year-long celebration of Wren’s tercentenary, life and works.

On 5th July, a panel of speakers at Royal Hospital Chelsea, home since 1692 to the iconic Chelsea Pensioners, will host a unique conversation about health and wellbeing, “Broken by Age or War”: Bringing Wren’s Vision for Veteran Care into the 21st Century. This will explore design for health and well-being in the seventeenth century and the modern day, from historic ideas about contagion and cleanliness to the adaptation of the original building for contemporary use. Until the 17th century, the state made no provision for former soldiers. In 1681 Wren was charged with the construction and bringing the Royal Hospital Chelsea to contemporary medical understanding. The panel will discuss how Sir Christopher Wren’s vision for the British Military’s care holds up against modern standards of care. The panel will comprise Will Palin (CEO of Barts Heritage Trust), Christine Stevenson (Professor of Early Modern Art and Architecture, The Courtauld) and Peregrine Bryant and Laura Morgante (Directors of Peregrine Bryant Architects & Conservation).

Wren300 thanks Olivia Horsfall Turner for her assistance in putting this series together and Tony Hales CBE for his generous support.