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Queen Mary II therefore ordered that the buildings be split, providing an avenue leading from the river through the hospital grounds up to the Queen's House and Greenwich Hill beyond.

This gave the hospital its distinctive look, with its buildings arranged in a number of quadrants.

Queen Mary Court houses the hospital's chapel (designed by Wren but not completed until 1742).

An early controversy arose when it emerged that the original plans for the hospital would have blocked the riverside view from the Queen's House.Greenwich Hospital was a permanent home for retired sailors of the Royal Navy, which operated from 1692 to 1869.Its buildings were later used by the Royal Naval College, Greenwich and the University of Greenwich, and are now known as the Old Royal Naval College.The first governor, Sir William Gifford, took up office in 1708.The other principal buildings constructed included Queen Mary Court (planned by Wren and Hawksmoor, but not built until after Wren's death, by Thomas Ripley), completed in 1742, Queen Anne Court (architects: Wren and Hawksmoor), and King William Court (designed by Wren, but completed by Hawksmoor and Sir John Vanbrugh).

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