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Famous heads that rolled at the Tower

Execution inside the Tower, away from the gawping crowds, was a privilege reserved for those of high rank or for those who had dangerously strong popular support.

Ten people were beheaded on Tower Green which stretches to the west of the White Tower. The best known among those executed on or near Tower Green are three former queens of England. Two were the wives of Henry VIII.

Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, was in her early 30s and Catherine Howard, Henry VIII’s fifth wife, was barely in her 20s. Both had been accused of adultery, but neither may have been guilty.

Lady Jane Grey, queen for nine days, was only 16 and the innocent pawn in a failed military coup by her father-in-law, the Duke of Northumberland.

Gruesome executions at the Tower of London

Anne Boleyn was executed by the clean stroke of an expert swordsman shipped in from France especially for the occasion. On the day of her execution, she enquired, 'I heard say the executioner was very good, and I have a little neck.'

Margaret Pole, another victim of the axe, was less lucky. A blundering executioner ‘hacked her head and shoulders to pieces’.

The execution site memorial

The following evocative memorial to the people who died here by order of the state is displayed at Tower Green:

‘Gentle visitor pause awhile : where you stand death cut away the light of many days : here jewelled names were broken from the vivid thread of life : may they rest in peace while we walk the generations around their strife and courage : under there restless skies’ - Brian Catling, creator of the execution site memorial.



Gentle visitor pause awhile: where you stand death cut away the light of many days: here jewelled names were broken from the vivid thread of life: may they rest in peace while we walk the generations around their strife and courage : under there restless skies

Brian Catling, creator of the execution site memorial

Prepare to be shocked by terrifying torture instruments and learn more about the unfortunate prisoners who experienced torture at the Tower of London.

Open daily

Tower of London

Renowned across the world, Hampton Court Palace Gardens are beautifully constructed and maintained, making them an unmissable attraction.

Open daily

Hampton Court Palace

Built between 1526 and 1529, the royal tennis courts at Hampton Court Palace were used regularly by Henry VIII and you can view them as part of your visit.

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Hampton Court Palace
Tudor Rose Cushion - Perfect for a history lover, this Tudor rose cushion symbolises the joining of two rival houses, York and Lancaster.

Tudor Rose cushion

Perfect for a history lover, this Tudor rose cushion symbolises the joining of two rival houses, York and Lancaster.

£40.00

Inspired by the Chapel Royal's magnificent ceiling, this bone china trinket box features gold stars and gilded musical cherubs.

Chapel Royal bone china trinket box

Inspired by the Chapel Royal's magnificent ceiling, this bone china trinket box features gold stars and gilded musical cherubs.

£29.00

Tudor court pendant, inspired by the carvings on Anne Boleyn’s gateway, a lasting reminder of their royal love story.

Tudor court drop pendant

Tudor court pendant, inspired by the carvings on Anne Boleyn’s gateway, a lasting reminder of their royal love story.

£150.00