The Chapel of St. John's

The Chapel of St. John's

The Chapel of St. John's

Part of the original construction of the White Tower begun in 1078 by William the Conqueror. The chapel was at the heart of the king’s royal and ceremonial apartments and would probably originally have been brightly painted.

The Chapel of St. John's is not only the best-preserved interior in the White Tower, but also one of the best examples of Anglo-Norman church architecture in England. Although it was probably orginally brightly painted, Henry III (1216-72) embellished it with stained glass windows representing the Virgin and Child and St. John the Evangelist, a painting of Edward the Confessor, and a figure of Christ. For much of its later history, it was used to store state records.

By tradition, it was here that King Henry VII's wife, Elizabeth of York, was laid in state after dying at the Tower in childbirth. It was also here that Henry VIII’s eldest daughter, Mary, was betrothed by proxy to Philip of Spain. St. John’s is still a royal chapel and the Queen’s Chaplain performs a series of services throughout the year.

 

You may also be interested in...