Bloody Tower


  • Open daily (closed 03 September to 19 October 2018)

Ticketing information

Included in palace admission Buy Tower of London tickets

Explore the most infamous prison at the Tower of London and learn about the intriguing stories that inspired the name 'Bloody Tower'.

Discover the story of the Princes in the Tower

The Bloody Tower is most strongly associated with the supposed murder of the 12-year-old Edward V and his younger brother, Richard, in 1483. Tradition says that they stayed in these rooms on the orders of their uncle, the future Richard III.

The princes' subsequent disappearance remains one of the most intriguing stories of the Tower's history. As the rumours grew, the tower was renamed the 'Bloody Tower' from the Garden Tower.

Learn why the boys came to be at the Tower and what we really know about their disappearance on the first floor of this notorious medieval building.

Explore Sir Walter Raleigh’s study

Learn about the reality of high status imprisonment at the Tower in Sir Walter Raleigh’s study.

It was here that Raleigh, a favourite of Elizabeth I, spent 13 years as a prisoner during the reign of Elizabeth’s successor, James I.

Raleigh was allowed three servants and the interior was even partitioned to make more comfortable living conditions for his family. However, Raleigh’s health and morale were poor.

Learn about Raleigh’s inquisitive mind, his passion for poetry and science and the herbal elixir he concocted on this spot on the ground floor of the Bloody Tower.

The entrance to the Bloody Tower, looking south-west. Showing the arched wooden doorway with metal studs.

The Bloody Tower was built by King Henry III (1207-72) and was originally named the Garden Tower.
Close-up detail of portcullis (metal bars) on the gateway of the Bloody Tower

See the portcullis up close

The Bloody Tower was not only used for keeping prisoners locked in; it was also built to keep people out!

See the Tower's awe-inspiring portcullis, which could shut off the gate passage below, and learn about the building’s history as part of this great medieval fortress.

Fountain Court, looking west. The courtyard fountain can just be seen through an archway on the left.
Member only Tours and talks

Get an expert’s guide of what there is to see and do at each palace with one of our State Apartment Warders at Hampton Court.

27 September 2018

Hampton Court Palace

11:00 and 14:00

A Tower of London warden speaks to a visitor in the White Tower
Tours and talks

Explore the beautiful Chapel of St John the Evangelist and hear tales of famous old residents at the Tower with an expert warden.


Tower of London

From 10:45, 12:45 and 14:15

Beefeater teddy bear - teddy bear dressed in the red uniform of the Tower of London Yeoman.

Beefeater teddy bear

This 'Beefeater' bear is splendidly dressed in a Yeoman Warder uniform, standing ready to guard the Tower of London.