This recreation of King Edward I’s (1239-1307) bed is displayed in St. Thomas's Tower, which forms a part of the Medieval Palace at the Tower of London. The King’s bedchamber is shown as it might have looked when Edward stayed at the Tower for a week in the winter of 1294, while preparing for war with France.
Edward was unusually tall for a 13th century man, earning him the moniker Edward 'Longshanks'. When his tomb was opened, his skeleton measured an estimated 188 cm (6ft 2in). Making sure the bed was big enough for Edward was just part of the historical detective work that went into its re-creation. Other historical clues revealed that he had a feather mattress and his bed was probably painted green, spangled with stars and its canopy hung from chains.
It was essential that the King’s bed was easy to take apart and transport as Edward frequently travelled both in this country and abroad visiting his estates and putting down rebellions. The chains and rails came down, the four posts were pulled out of the dais (raised platform), curtains were thrown into leather sacks and the whole lot transported on carts or horseback.
Explore the Collections
This object is one of many items either on display or in store at Historic Royal Palaces. Click here to explore more >