History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: The Wernher Collection of fine art
The house is typical of Queen Anne style, with a symmetrical facade of red brick and cream-coloured Portland stone. Over the entrance is a carving of Neptune, a reminder that Hosier served his first commission aboard the HMS Neptune.
In 1748 the house was purchased by Philip Stanhope, the 4th Earl of Chesterfield. He added a single storey wing as a display area for his large collection of art, and this is still known as The Chesterfield Gallery. A later owner, Richard Hulse, added a second wing to echo the first, giving the house once more a symmetrical facade.
In 1815 the house became a 'Grace and Favour' residence; that is, a residence granted by the monarch to servants or extended family members. The first resident was Princess Sophia Matilda, who became the first Ranger of Greenwich Park. The post was a sinecure; a position without responsibilities. From this time the house was known as The Ranger's House.
The last Ranger to live here departed in 1896 and the building was sold to London County Council in 1902. The drawing room was used as a tea room, and later as a self-service cafe for Blackheath. Since WWII Ranger's House has been used for a variety of exhibitions on local history, and the official architects for the County Council had their offices upstairs. From 1986 the house has been in the care of English Heritage.
Ranger's House Today
In recent years the house interiors have been renovated to display art from the Wernher Collection. This opulent collection of fine art was built by a wealthy diamond dealer named Sir Julius Wernher (1850-1912), and includes almost 700 items ranging from Old Master paintings to silver and jewellery, porcelain and Renaissance bronzes. Among the prize pieces on show are the 'Loves of Angels' statue by Bergonzoli, and portraits by George Romney and Sir Joshua Reynolds. The Wernher Collection has been called the finest collection of medieval and Renaissance art in Europe.
About Ranger's House
Address: Chesterfield Walk, Blackheath, London, Greater London, England, SE10 8QX
Attraction Type: Historic Building
Location: North of Shooters Hill Road
Website: Ranger's House
Phone: 0208 294 2548
English Heritage - see also: English Heritage memberships (official website)
OS: TQ389 768
Photo Credit: Creative Commons image by Katie Chan
Nearest station: Greenwich - 0.7 miles (straight line) - Zone: 2.5
Note: You can get Free Entry to Ranger's House with the London Pass
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Royal Observatory, Greenwich - 0.3 miles (Museum)
Queens House - 0.6 miles (Historic Building)
National Maritime Museum - 0.6 miles (Museum)
St Alfege's Church, Greenwich - 0.6 miles (Historic Church)
Old Royal Naval College Greenwich - 0.7 miles (Historic Building)
Cutty Sark - 0.8 miles (Museum)
Thames Barrier - 2.4 miles (Historic Building)
Museum of London Docklands - 2.6 miles (Museum)
Nearest Accommodation to Ranger's House:
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