The month of May marks the 500th anniversary the granting of the Royal Charter to the Corporation of Trinity House in 1514 and to mark this milestone event in British maritime history, a unique Open Day Invitation is extended 10am – 3pm on Saturday, 17th May to the general public to discover the treasures and artefacts preserved and on display within its five elegant rooms and access areas. There is no need to contact the House – interested day-visitors can arrive and wander about the House at their leisure and receive information from expert guides stationed throughout.
Trinity House is located on Tower Hill overlooking the historic Tower of London and the picturesque Trinity Square Gardens containing a memorial to merchant navy heroes of two World Wars and the Falklands War. It is available for private hire on an exclusive use basis and throughout the year is a popular venue for prestigious corporate and social occasions and is licensed for weddings and civil service ceremonies (please visit http://www.trinityhouse.co.uk/venue_hire/ for more details).
Built in 1794, the history of the House is omnipresent and throughout the building, valuable paintings and antiques bear out the nation’s remarkable nautical heritage. One of its more recent acquisitions is the brass bell from the Royal Yacht Britannia which was decommissioned in 1997. Trinity House’s connection with seamarks and lighthouses dates from Elizabeth I and the Seamarks Act of 1566 which granted powers to set up “so many beacons,marks and signs for the sea whereby the dangers may be avoided and escaped and ships the better come into their ports without peril.” The first lighthouse was built during the reign of James I by Trinity House at Lowestoft in 1609, and the next 200 years saw a proliferation of light house building around the coast.
In its 200 year history, the building of Trinity House has welcomed royalty, prime ministers and Lords of the Admiralty and is today managed by Deputy Master, Captain Ian McNaught. Reflecting the on-going patronage of the Crown, the current Master of the Corporation is HRH The Princess Royal, filling a role held in former centuries by, amongst others, the diarist Samuel Pepys, the Duke of Wellington, William Pitt the Younger and, more recently, The Duke of Edinburgh.