Nick Ellwood

Nick Ellwood / Illustrator

500 years of Mischief & Mayhem in Greenwich exhibition
Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich

A lighter look at the history of Greenwich for children and family visitors encouraging them to explore the museum after lockdown running all Summer until October 31st


The exhibition includes animations, augmented reality, illustrations, murals, drawings and hand painted ceramics bringing to life some of the more colourful characters and hidden stories in a playful and mischievous way to help introduce the themes of the museum in an engaging and memorable way.


Alongside the exhibition are a series of workshops for children and a drawing competition also exhibited in the gallery.


A Talking portrait

Introducing Old John  (aka John Worley John)

Visitors are invited to look at Old John through the camera of

their phone to bring John’s portrait to life, beware he is a little grumpy!




John Worley was originally drawn by Sir James Thornhill in 1719 for

the Painted Hall ceiling and can be seen  depicted as Old Winter.


He is famous for being the only naval pensioner the ceiling and

also for being one of the most mischievous naval pensioners on

record, regularly noted for his surly nature and for being

drunken and disorderly!


The Old John depicted and animated here is a slightly

(but just slightly!) more welcoming character and he

invites children and visitors to join him in an interactive quiz.




The Greenwich Pensioners

also known as the ‘Greenwich Geese’ on account of their pointy hats!



Jack McKerty

The youngest recorded naval pensioner to have lived in

‘The Old Royal Hospital’ now called The Old Royal Naval College.

Jack has become to narrator and tour guide to the children’s and

family trail in the Painted Hall


A Greenwich naval pensioner circa 1740





Reading the stars

Visitors can view the stars and constellations as they appear

around them using augmented reality and animations

along with a brief background to the meaning of the names.


Introducing the lives, works and quarrels of

some of the great astronomers connected to Greenwich

Tycho Brahe (1546-1601)

The last astronomer to make observations with the naked eye.

Also famous loosing his nose in a duel over a maths argument!


The misbehaving Royals and King Freddie that never was!


George I arrival to England and Greenwich in 1714

after a painting by Sir James Thornhill, 1719

Eye witness accounts of the arrival differ slightly to the image Sir James Thornhill painted

– in the exhibition the visitor can compare this version (based on the eye witness accounts)

to Thornhill’s using Augmented Reality and decide whether this might be a case of early Fake News!!


Charles II (1630-1685)

Charles started to rebuild Greenwich to rival the great palaces of Europe.

Shown here with Samuel Pepys the diarist and secretary to the Admiralty,

walking among the trees he planted in Greenwich Park and by the

Royal Observatory built in his reign


Queen Anne (1665-1714)

With Lady Sarah Churchill her ‘favourite’!


Queen Elizabeth I

Born in Greenwich and shown here celebrating the defeat

of the Spanish Armada in the river Thames flotilla.

It’s said that it was here in Greenwich where Sir Walter Raleigh

lay down his cloak over a puddle for Elizabeth to step over!


The architects of Greenwich


The Gods Goddesses Monster & Heroes

Hand painted plates and sketches celebrating the characters

and monsters from the Painted Hall and Greek and Roman mythology