From 6th April 2006, visitors to the Tower of London can discover more about what it was like to be a medieval king living at the Tower. The interior of the Medieval Palace has been richly restored to the opulent royal residence it would have been in medieval times, when Henry III and Edward I would have slept, dined and held court here.
The Medieval Palace is part of the Tower of London where kings and queens stayed until the reign of Elizabeth I. The restored interior includes replica furniture such as a bed, chests and chairs, and specially-commissioned textiles including rugs, cushions and wall-hangings, all hand-made using traditional skills – smells and sound effects evoking the medieval period have been commissioned too.
In exploring how Henry III and Edward I shaped this Royal Palace as we know it today, this permanent display helps visitors discover why the Medieval Palace was built, what it was used for, and what it tells us about medieval society.
The work on the Medieval Palace also includes the Lanthorn Tower which already displays original medieval artifacts, but now will feature a rolling programme of star exhibits from the medieval period on loan.
The lost palace at the Tower of London is also explored for the first time. This building would have been in its heyday in the medieval period and a specially commissioned CGI film re-creates these lost buildings. In the Middle Ages the Great Hall was the architectural showpiece of the palace it seems to have fallen into disrepair from as early as 1559. It was partly transformed and partly demolished over the following two centuries.