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.
At the Old Royal Naval College on 20th September, Simon Thurley (historian, Chair of the National Lottery Heritage Fund) will give a talk about Wren the Courtier, exploring Wren’s position within Court under King William and Queen Mary, and his work for them including designing Greenwich Hospital (now the Old Royal Naval College) on commission from the monarch. Wren’s success was underpinned by his skill as a courtier, retaining the confidence of four monarchs despite socioeconomic turmoil. His life at court can be reconstructed and demonstrates his devotion to the architectural whims of the Stuart dynasty. By using Wren’s history as a courtier, leading architectural historian Simon Thurley will deliver a thorough lecture with new research, painting Wren’s talents and career in a new light.
Wren300 thanks Olivia Horsfall Turner for her assistance in putting this series together and Tony Hales CBE for his generous support.