The Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula

The Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula is a historic church located within the walls of the Tower of London. The chapel has a rich history dating back to the Tudor period and has become a popular tourist attraction in London. This article will provide a detailed overview of the chapel’s history, its significance as a tourist attraction, and provide information on how to visit and what to look out for.

St. Peter ad Vincula Historical Reference:

The Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula was originally built in the 13th century and was later rebuilt by Henry VIII in 1519. The chapel was primarily used as a place of worship for the royal household and was the site of many important events in Tudor history. The chapel is perhaps best known for being the final resting place of several important historical figures, including Anne Boleyn, Queen of England and second wife of Henry VIII. Anne Boleyn was executed at the Tower of London in 1536, and her remains were interred in the chapel. Other notable figures buried in the chapel include Catherine Howard, Henry VIII’s fifth wife, and Sir Thomas More, a close advisor to the king.

Anne Boleyn’s Execution

Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII of England, was a pivotal figure in the English Reformation. Her death and burial marked a tragic end to her influential but turbulent life.

Anne Boleyn was executed on May 19, 1536. She was charged with high treason, adultery, and incest, although these charges are widely believed to have been fabricated to enable Henry VIII to marry Jane Seymour. Her trial was heavily biased, and she was found guilty by a jury that included her own uncle and former suitors.

Her execution was originally scheduled for May 18, but it was delayed until the following day. In a break from the usual method of execution for women (burning at the stake), Anne was beheaded with a sword. This was seen as a mercy, and Henry VIII brought an expert swordsman from Saint-Omer in France to carry out the execution, as it was believed to be quicker and less painful than the axe.

After her execution, Anne’s body and head were not treated with the respect usually given to members of the aristocracy. Her remains were placed in an arrow chest, as no coffin had been provided. She was then buried in an unmarked grave in the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula, within the Tower of London.

It wasn’t until the 19th century during renovations of the chapel that her remains were identified. Anne Boleyn’s final resting place is now marked in the marble floor.

Anne Boleyn’s death marked a significant moment in English history, leading to further religious and political upheaval, and permanently altering the course of English and European history.

St. Peter ad Vincula Tourist Attraction:

The Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula is now a popular tourist attraction in London and draws visitors from all over the world. The chapel offers a glimpse into Tudor history and provides visitors with a unique opportunity to see the final resting places of some of England’s most famous historical figures.

The chapel is open to visitors daily, and guided tours are available for those who want a more in-depth experience. The tours provide visitors with a detailed history of the chapel and its significance in Tudor history. Visitors can also attend services in the chapel, which are held on Sundays and special occasions throughout the year.

Video: A look inside St Peter ad Vincula, Great Coggeshall, Essex, UK. Filmed March 9, 2016.

The Site of Block is demarcated in front of the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula. (Part of the Jewel House can be see to its right). [Greeley/Gilmore]

How to Visit:

The Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula is located within the walls of the Tower of London and can be accessed via the main entrance to the Tower. The Tower of London is easily accessible by public transport, and visitors can take the underground to Tower Hill station, which is just a short walk from the Tower.

Tickets to the Tower of London can be purchased online in advance or on the day of your visit. The cost of admission includes access to the chapel, as well as the other attractions within the Tower of London, such as the Crown Jewels and the White Tower.

What to Look Out For:

When visiting the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, there are several notable features to look out for. The chapel’s interior is adorned with intricate carvings and stained glass windows, which date back to the Tudor period. Visitors can also view the tombstones of several historical figures, including Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.

One of the most notable artifacts on display in the chapel is the execution block used to behead Anne Boleyn. Visitors can view the block and learn about the grisly details of her execution. The chapel also houses a collection of historical artifacts, including Tudor-era vestments and other religious items.

In conclusion, the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula is a fascinating piece of Tudor history and a must-see for anyone interested in English history. The chapel’s historical significance, combined with its unique location within the Tower of London, makes it a popular tourist attraction. Visitors to the chapel can expect to learn about Tudor history, view important historical artifacts, and pay their respects to some of England’s most famous historical figures.

Site of Block

Between the Chapel and Tower Green is a small paved area. A scaffold was erected here for the beheading of those whose public execution on Tower Hill might have incited the people to riot. The names of the six tragic figures who died on this fateful spot are inscribed on the board. They include three queens of England: Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, and Lady Jane Grey. Elizabeth Ist supposed suitor, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex was also executed here.

A well-used block and axe. Although there can be found many cut-marks in the block, two are deepest — the one used for practice, and the one used for actual execution.  [Both: R.Radliff]

Post-corrected and updated to reflect the execution of Anne Boleyn. Thanks for the correction, ESTEL EFORGAN.

Zoey Davies

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