Henry III and his son, Edward I, are to be attributed to the creation of the Beauchamp Tower. Henry III is responsible for many of the towers and structures in the Tower of London, with eight wall towers built during the latter part of his reign. It was during Edward’s reconstruction of the western section that he replaced a twin-towered gatehouse built by Henry with the Beauchamp Tower around 1275-81.
Architecturally, the large amount of brick used, as opposed to solely that of stone, was innovative at its time for castle construction. The tower takes its name from Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, imprisoned 1397-99 by Richard II. The three-story structure was used often for prisoners of high rank.
Of special interest are the inscriptions carved on the stone walls here by prisoners. The most elaborate is a memorial to the five brothers Dudley, one of whom was Lord Guildford Dudley, husband of Lady Jane Grey. These unhappy pair were executed in 1554.
The Ravens and the Legend
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