As far as royal residences go, the Queen's House is a modest palace - an appealing, but simple, bright white, classical, Palladian villa flanked by colonnades. Its understated appearance, however, belies its immense historical significance. Built in 1616 by Inigo Jones for Anne of Denmark - the wife of James I - the Queen's House was the first neo-classical building seen in England. Originally conceived as a hunting lodge and addition to the Palace of Greenwich, it also acted as a bridge spanning the public road to Deptford, which divided the park in two. Despite revolutionising Jacobean architecture, the house itself was not get finished until 1635 when it became home to Charles I and his Queen, Henrietta Maria. The house went on to survive tumultuous times. Queen Anne died before it was completed, shortly after Civil War broke out, and Oliver Cromwell stripped the Stuarts of the residence and its many treasures. It is now used by the National Maritime Museum to exhibit paintings of illustrious seafarers and historic Greenwich. The Stuart 'Tulip Staircase' - purported as the first spiral staircase in Britain - has been reinstated and takes its name from the beautiful floral patterning on the wrought-iron balustrade. Some faded painted panels remain on the ceiling of the Royal bedchamber while the cuboid Great Hall is swathed in impressive computer-enhanced copies of Gentileschi frescos. For the valiant among you, the Queen's House is notoriously haunted and photos of shrouded figures ascending the spiral stairs are thought to be legitimate. More recently, the Queen's House was the stunning backdrop to the London 2012 Olympic equestrian events.