The Beauchamp Tower

The Beauchamp Tower

The Beauchamp Tower, at the Tower of London

The walls of this tower, especially on the first floor, are covered in graffiti left by Tudor prisoners. The ground floor houses the 'Prisoners of the Tower' exhibition.

Built as part of the inner defensive wall by Henry III and Edward I around the White Tower, throughout its history it has been used on and off to house prisoners. Its large size and close location to the Lieutenant’s Lodgings, now the Queen’s House, made the Beauchamp Tower perfect for housing really important prisoners. Most of the graffiti was carved between the 16th and 17th centuries during a period of religious and political upheaval when the Tower of London became the country's foremost state prison.

Prisoners at this tower

In Elizabeth’s reign (1558-1603), Sir Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, was held for 10 years and died a prisoner and under James I's reign (1603-25), Lord Cobham spent the last 14 years of his life here. In 1553, Robert Dudley, Elizabeth I's childhood sweetheart, was imprisoned here for one year.

Related links

You may also be interested in...