Greenwich Hospital occupies the site of a royal palace erected early in the fifteenth century on the south bank of the Thames four miles below London Bridge. To students of Inigo Jones and Sir Christopher Wren the Hospital is of great architectural interest. It consists of four quadrangles, and is best seen from the river, whence the less worthy portions are invisible. "William and Mary deserve the credit of rebuilding the palace, and of converting it, 200 years ago, into a refuge for decrepit and disabled seamen.'' In the present reign, however, in the year 1871, the pensioners made way under an Admiralty scheme for naval cadets, who are here educated. The Painted Hall, the Nelson relics, and the ship models, regularly draw to the Hospital troops of visitors.
source: The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896