You are at the top of the page

Skip to content or footer

Start of main content

Trailblazers: Women at the Tower of London announced for summer season

School’s out for summer, but the history buffs of all ages can uncover the stories of five fascinating historical women at the Tower of London.

Trailblazers: Women at the Tower of London runs until 3 September and will celebrate five women with fascinating connections to the iconic fortress with processions through the grounds, staged performances on the South Lawn, and the opportunity to meet, interact and have a picture with the historical women and learn more about their stories.

Throughout the Tower’s history, women have played an integral part, despite not always getting the recognition they deserve.

For 1,000 years, women with a connection to the Tower of London have played crucial roles as residents, workers,
political protestors, and even prisoners.
Some of the most famous women in history once walked within the Tower’s walls – including Queen Anne Boleyn and her daughter, Queen Elizabeth I. However, other
women who worked or visited the Tower of London feature less prominently in the history books.

This summer, live performances at the Tower will celebrate the lives of several lesser-known women connected to the fortress and the roles they played within its walls.
Among the women featured in the live events are Catalina of Motril, servant to Henry VIII’s first wife, Katherine of Aragon; Alice Tankerville, imprisoned at the Tower of London in 1534 for piracy; Leonora Cohen, a suffragette who smashed the Crown Jewels display with a crowbar, and Phillis Wheatley, the first published African-American woman who visited the Tower in 1773 and would later write about her experience. A former enslaved woman herself, Phillis discussed abolition with Granville Sharp, who worked at the Tower, but also made time to visit the Crown Jewels exhibition and the Tower’s famous menagerie.

Lauren Johnson, director, and writer of Trailblazers: Women at the Tower of London, said: ‘This event brings these complicated and fascinating individuals alive
for a new generation, reminding us that there is so much more to women at the Tower of London than just tragic queens – they were trailblazers in their own right’.

Notes to editors
Trailblazers: Women at the Tower runs to 3 September 2023 and is included in the cost of admission.
For further information or images, please contact Jon Hornbuckle in the HRP Press Office via [email protected]
Tickets: Adults: £33.60 / Children: £16.80 / Concessions: £26.80 / Historic Royal
Palaces members go free
Historic Royal Palaces is a team of people who love and look after six of the most wonderful palaces in the world.

We create space for spirits to stir and be stirred. We
want everyone to feel welcome and accepted. We tell stories about the monarchs you know and the lives you don’t. We let people explore and we set minds racing. We are a charity and your support gives the palaces a future, for everyone.
Registered charity number 1068852.

For more information visit