Life, death and worship at HM Tower of London

Alfred Hawkins
Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE



The Tower of London is one of the most important and sensitive historic sites in the world. Now a Scheduled Monument and UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has been a royal palace, fortress, prison, and the home of numerous national institutions, but the site is better known for its mythical status as a macabre mausoleum for traitors and the location of some of England’s most dramatic events.

These stories of death, treason, and torture each relate in some way to the Tower’s church – the Royal Peculiar and Chapel Royal of Saint Peter ad Vincula. This though, is not the main story behind one of the Tower’s most important buildings. This talk will discuss new research and recent excavations funded by Historic Royal Palaces and the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society to explore the development of the building from its pre-conquest origins until the present day, shedding new light on a building so often known only through the eyes of only a few internments and the legacy of Victorian mythologies.