• Open daily

Ticketing info

Included in palace admission

The world of Henry III and Edward I

Enter the world of Henry III and his son Edward I, two medieval kings who did much to give the Tower the appearance it has today.

When Henry and Edward expanded the Tower’s defences in the 13th century, they also added a new, luxurious palace. For hundreds of years to come, kings and queens would stay in these rooms.

Inside the Medieval Palace at the Tower

St. Thomas's Tower, the Wakefield Tower and the Lanthorn Tower are known collectively as the Medieval Palace. Today, the towers house recreations of fabulous interiors used by medieval kings and queens during their frequent but short visits to their most important fortress.

St. Thomas's Tower

St Thomas’s Tower was built by Edward I in the late 1270s. Edward didn’t stay at the Tower very often, but on his rare visits he used this room to meet important visitors and conduct business in front of the huge fireplace.

The Wakefield Tower

The Wakefield Tower was built by Henry III some 40 years earlier. This room was probably a private audience chamber. Here you will find an intricate, replica canopied throne, which has been reconstructed from 13th-century descriptions.

The Lanthorn Tower

The Lanthorn Tower contains rare objects dating back to the time of Henry and Edward. Jane Spooner, our buildings curator, talks about her favourite piece, a battered lead toy knight. She says, 'It dates from about 1300 and I particularly like this piece because it reminds us that the Tower of London wasn’t just a place where kings, queens and tough soldiers were. It’s also a place where children lived and played.'

The wizard and the King's bed

In the St. Thomas's Tower, there is a re-creation of Edward I’s bedchamber. The starting point for making an accurate replica came from Edward's financial accounts which recorded a payment of ‘11 shillings and a penny for timber, boards and sawn panels for a bed for the lord King and for transporting it through England.’

The little chantry off the bedchamber is one of the most peaceful and evocative spaces in the whole of the Tower of London.

When we were recreating Edward I’s bed, one of the most useful sources we found was a medieval picture showing the conception of the wizard Merlin.

Assistant curator, Susan Holmes

Explore what's on

Wilson's Passage, looking south. The walls on either side of the passage are decorated with back vitrified bricks laid in diagonal patterns.

Come along and enjoy a fascinating talk by Nicola Tallis on her newest book, Elizabeth's Rival: The Tumultuous Tale of Lettice Knollys, Countess of Leicester

06 November 2017

Hampton Court Palace

Doors open at 13:45 for a 14:00 start

The stunning gardens of Hampton Court Palace will be the setting for a unique cinematic experience this autumn.

30 October - 01 November 2017

Hampton Court Palace
Actor dressed as Medieval Lady

Step back seven hundred years in time and into the palace of King Edward I, Hammer of the Scots.

30 October - 23 December 2017 and 02 January - 09 February 2018

Tower of London

11.00 – 12.30 and 13.30 – 15.30

Browse more history and stories

Gauntlets inspired by Gothic armour popular during the late 15th century. Fully articulated and constructed from polished steel.

Medieval armour - gauntlets

Gauntlets inspired by Gothic armour popular during the late 15th century. Fully articulated and constructed from polished steel.