The Traitors Gate

Previous page: Bell Tower

On our right is now St. Thomas's Tower, with the Traitors' Gate beneath: observe the wide span of the arch. This gate, when the Thames was more of a highway than it is at present, was often used as an entrance to the Tower. In later times it was found convenient as a landing place for prisoners who had been tried at Westminster.

Here successively Edward, Duke of Buckingham (1521), Sir Thomas More, Queen Anne Boleyn, Cromwell, Earl of Essex, Queen Katharine Howard (1542), Seymour, Duke of Somerset (1551), Lady Jane Grey, the Princess (afterwards Queen) Elizabeth, Devereux, Earl of Essex (1601) and James, Duke of Monmouth, passed under the arch on their way to prison or the scaffold.

St. Thomas's Tower was built by Henry III, and contains a small chapel or oratory dedicated to St. Thomas of Canterbury.

Opposite is the Bloody Tower, but we pass straight on and turning to the left enter the Inner Ward. On a platform to the south of the White Tower is a bronze breech-loading gun with screw breech, calibre 25 inches, made for Mahomed II in 1464. It was presented to Queen Victoria by the Sultan Abdul Aziz in 1867, and transferred from the Rotunda Museum. Woolwich, in 1929.

Next page: White Tower

The Tower of London Virtual Guide