Re-gild the Painted Hall's proscenium arch

Sarah Duthie at Old Royal Naval College, Greater London


£22,448 raised
285 funders

Funded 8 September 2016

0% funded

105% funded

Called 'the Sistine Chapel of the UK', the Painted Hall is one of the finest Baroque interiors in Europe. Its centrepiece – the proscenium arch – has endured 50 years of dirt and grime and we need your help to preserve it. With the funds you donate, we’ll be able to do the painstaking conservation work needed to make this unique treasure shine once more.

Sir James Thornhill’s Painted Hall is a 300-year old masterpiece, created as a dining hall within Sir Christopher Wren’s Royal Hospital for Seamen. The proscenium arch serves as the doorway between the upper and lower Painted Hall and perfectly frames the magnificent painting, The Golden Age Returned.

Not only is the arch a focal point of the hall’s scheme but it forms a unique piece of our naval heritage; it was here that in January 1806 thousands of mourners gathered to see the body of Vice-Admiral Nelson lying in state after his death at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Since then the arch’s beautifully carved embellishments – such as intricate zodiac symbols – have lost much of their original lustre. We want to use specialist conservators to clean away decades of accumulated dirt and experts in traditional gilding techniques to repair and re-gild the original decoration.

This project is one part of a wider £7million conservation plan to restore the Painted Hall at Old Royal Naval College. With your support, we can bring this rich heritage back to life, and help reopen the doorway to Britain’s Golden Age.

Please help us make this happen and get some brilliant rewards in return.

Five good reasons to support the proscenium arch

Hidden behind the walls of the Old Royal Naval College is one of the UK’s hidden treasures. Here are five good reasons why you should support it!... Read more

Reward highlight: gilding workshops

Instructed by our gilding specialists, donors of £200 can experience gilding first-hand in this unmissable workshop reward!... Read more

50% funded – thank you to our funders!

We’re halfway to our goal with 22 days left to go. Thanks so much to the 75 people who have contributed so far!... Read more

The story of the arch

From its construction by Sir Nicholas Hawksmoor to a cameo in Pirates of the Caribbean, the proscenium arch has witnessed over 300 years of history... Read more

Reward highlight: Peter Kent print

Support our crowdfunding campaign and get great rewards. By donating £60 or £100, you can earn a limited-edition print by renowned Greenwich artist, Peter Kent... Read more

Symbols and star signs – the arch deciphered

In this update, we look at the symbolism of the Painted Hall's gilded zodiac figures and reveal what they would have meant to their original viewers... Read more

Final week!

There’s only a few days left to open the doorway to Britain’s Golden Age. Can you help us reach our target? Here is what we're planning to do with your donations... Read more

Artist profile – Sir James Thornhill

Just a few days left to support our campaign to bring back the shine to the painted arch. The arch's decorative scheme was designed by Sir James Thornhill, who worked on this monument for 19 years. We take a look at this interesting figure in this update... Read more

Help us go further!

Thank you so much to everyone who donated to our Art Happens project and for helping us reach our target with just over a day to go!... Read more

New exhibition: A Great and Noble Design

A display at the Stephen Lawrence Gallery explores the life of the Painted Hall's artist Sir James Thornhill... Read more

Gilding update

Preliminary work on the Painted Hall’s arch is now underway as preparations for the project begin... Read more

Rewards update

We are delighted to let you know that we are working on fulfilling your rewards and that they will be coming soon!... Read more

Gilded arch soon to begin conservation

Our conservators are soon to begin working on the proscenium arch in the Painted Hall – which you supported during our crowdfunding project last year. Why not come and see their progress on a Painted Hall Ceiling Tour?... Read more

With thanks to...

Kathleen Homfray

Lalita Carlton-Jones

Janice Staines

Daniel Williams

Christine Page

Michael Jennings

Michael Williams

Christopher Lloyd

K Ward

Laraine Dear

J Mountain

Charles Marsden-Smedley

Phyllis Duignan

Christine Webster

Malcolm Reeve

Ruth Thomas

Rosita Whittall

Nicolas Bevan

Sioban Clark

M Taylor

Gabriella Porte

Emmanuel Schizas

Mi Park

Diana Briscoe

Duncan Wilkinson

Susan Whiddington

William Stanley

Susan Wilkinson

Loreta Baltrusaityte

Mark Barton

Abi Stacey

Caroline Butler

Hugh Wilson

Fran Offord

Pia Rainey

Deborah Durkin

Sue Hillman

Gary Cooper

Helen Brown

Penny Baylis

Arjen Te Nijenhuis

Anna Emmett

Margot Ravon

Lynn Kelterborn

Matteo Solda

Janet Currie

J Robinson

Carol Roper

Caroline Ramsey

Barry Austin

S Blackall

A Mckenzie

Mika Nash

Julia Simpson

Asia Gibbs

Robin East

David Stockford

Rosemary Macvie

Ian Milner

Brian Perowne

David Newsome

David Williams

Jackie Southern

J Beaton

Mary Rutherford

Carolyn Young

M. Di Cavalcanti Junqueira

Margaret Robbins

Hugh Player

Michael Graham-Smith

David Wilson

Chris Ware

Louise Dolan

Simon Osborne

Brendan Bullen

John Barnes

Anthony Watt

Elizabeth Courtenay-Stamp

Sarah Duthie

Martin Giles

Alison Homewood

Helen Solley

Patricia Trembath

Joan Marsh

Kate Hart

Maurice Parry-Wingfield

Brenda Hibbs

Nicola Glover

Adrian Attwood

Charles Pollock

Naomi Beer

Isla Matthews

Pauline Heerema

Lee McGill

John Furlonger

Melinda Haunton

Mary Cetra

Christian Haw

Jon Clark

Alexander Milne

Kathleen Herron

Catriona Macrae

Ann Watson

Eden Guin

Jane Brehony

Silvia Crompton

Elizabeth Holt

Harold Walker

Chloe Payne

Ijeoma Echianu

Clare Southworth

Emma Capello

Claude Devarenne

Lesley Payne

James Roundell

Christine Skinner

Fraser Govan

Rebecca Fletcher

Angus Stirling

Andrew Thompson

Chris Springett

Helen Taylor

Mark Jenkinson

Prue Keely Davies

E Harris

Emanuella Watson-Gandy

Alison Fricker

Helen Auty

Catherine Townsend

Conrad Fry

Peter Stone

Cecile Gillard

Paul Kershaw

Sarah Woods

John Dismore

Lynne Hurst

Elmar Schiener



Diane Skinner

David Bullock

John Houghton

Natalia Hartmann

Helen Booth

Annette Badland

James Mewis

Eva Woloshyn

Sheila Mcnicholas

Paivi Tenhunen

Frank Krikhaar

Robert Douglas

Peter Halliday

Michael O'Callaghan

Mark Garrood

Suzanne Fisher

Louise Hardiman

Xabier Echevarria

Georgina Ralston

Holly Creed

Anne Baglin

G Dawson

Brian Mace

Barbara Halsall

Michael Spitzer

Frederick Lock

Karen Jones

Wendy Stradling

Chris Wilkins

Emilie Taride

Nicola Oliver

John Edwards

Ian Walton-George

Emma Clifford

Stephen Carleysmith

Marion Murray

William Pummell

Anthony Dyer

Lucy Crowhurst

Marion Long

Susan Tinson

Michael Ryley

Eric Shawyer

Ewan O'Sullivan

Patricia White

Raymond Prior

Linda Singer

Andrew Baldock

Rebecca Lilley

Robert Walters

Craig Biffen

Anna Mason

Vivien Lloyd

Valerie Salmond

Lucinda Cochrane

Angie Birkett

Jo Whiterod

Alan Gatter

Tom Ryley

Matt Nixson

Arnold Lord

Hilary Morgan

Farah Asemi

Fred Weil

Wendy Woolf

John Evans

Galina Wells

Virginia Campus

Leilia Mckee


Stephen Jones

Steven Gray

Rosemary Raza

Gillian Roche

Chris Perkins

Jessica Bishop

Fiona De Salle

Sue Miller

Hazel Trapnell

Karen Nimmo-Scott

Linda Croke

Robert Wingfield

Marjorie Ouvry

Andrew Brown

Melanie Bagg

Ralph Allwood

Clive Miller

Jenny White

Elizabeth Trzebinska

Gail Sharp

Judith Hodgson

Dominic Bouloux

Rupert Evenett

Dorcas Slaney

Keith Bell

Fiona Murray

Ann Parker

A Halsall

Patricia Mann

Shirley Appleton

Emma Whitaker

Iain Mcgillivray

Gilbert O'Brien

Rachael Humphries

Caroline Barnett

Geoffrey Scott

Edward Dyball

Michele Stapleton

Deette Howard

Faith Wigzell


Keith Wood

Beatrice Oliver

Sam Hawksford White

Susan Grant

Valerie Johnson

Richard Jones

Michael Dryland

Lesley Hodsdon

Georgina Perceval-Maxwell

Janine Catalano

Jennifer Steel

Mary-Louise Wedderburn

Neil Riddington

Robert Crawford

Glyn Hughes

John Guzzardi

John Samuel

Cheryl Garnsey

Pamela Newberry

John Bowis

Emma Grant

Iain Boyd

Janet Mackenzie

Sarah Cook

Sarah Ellis

Yinqiu Tang

Brendan Mccarthy

James Emmett

Amy Foulds

Stuart Perry

David Lawson

James Thornton

Tim Cox

Barbara Dziekonska


Add comment

One moment please
Back to top