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Medieval Palace

Step inside the luxurious lodgings of two Medieval kings

Step inside the luxurious lodgings of two Medieval kings

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.



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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, says about her favourite piece, a battered lead toy knight: "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.

St Thomas's Tower. Reconstruction of the king's bedchamber in the medieval palace as it might have appeared during the reign of King Edward I (1272-1307).

'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

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White Tower

Marvel at the imposing White Tower, a magnificent example of Norman architecture at the heart of the Tower of London.

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Line of Kings

Marvel at the historic armour of Henry VIII, Charles I and James II in the Line of Kings at the White Tower.

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Walk the defensive inner battlements and huge towers that have guarded the Tower of London for centuries.

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