The Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula is situated inside the grounds of the Tower of London, just behind Tower Green, where they set up the chopping block. The headless bodies were then carried inside the Chapel for burial by the altar. It's quite a thing to hear a church service inside, just twenty feet from the graves of Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey and the Earl of Essex.
The chapel is quite simple-looking inside (certainly when you compare it to Henry VIII's spectacular chapel at Hampton Court), but it's the bodies buried within it, and the history associated with it, that make it one of the most important buildings in England.
Craig has attended this service himself, and he thinks that is well-worth doing simply to see inside the Chapel. Read his review of the church service on his blog, so you can see what it is like. (Feel free to ask him some questions.) You might also like to read his review of the Tower of London as well.
The congregation is chiefly made up of people who live inside the Tower precincts, and relatively few members of the public seem to attend. When Craig went it wasn't exactly busy inside, but that is also part of its charm -- it's much more intimate, and you can really appreciate the music. It is also one of the very few ways in which the public can see inside the chapel, because it's usually only accessible through a Yeoman Warder Tour.
Important note: Whilst it is free to attend the service at the Chapel, you will need to buy an entry ticket if you intend to see the rest of the Tower as well. In order to get free entry you need to approach a member of staff at the main gate, and then tell them you'd like to attend the church service. They should let you through. You can then walk to the Chapel yourself. But remember... you are only supposed to attend the service! After that you need to leave. If you want to see the rest of the Tower then you're supposed to pay. It is important that you arrive shortly before the service is due to start as well, because they won't let you in for free if the church service is still an hour away.
If you enjoy this service then you might like to attend the Evensong at St. Paul's Cathedral. Or how about the service at Westminster Abbey? Check out our page of religious events in London for some more ideas.
Guest – “" The most famous prisoners of all were the so-called Princes in the Tower. When King Edward IV died in 1483, his sons were locked inside Tower for safe-keeping. They mysteriously vanished a short time later and their uncle Richard III usurped the throne. Their skeletal remains were found hidden in the building two centuries later, and exhumed in 1933." Get it right! This is popular fiction started by Tudor propaganda. It has been shown many times that Richard III did [u]not[u] murder the Princes! He was not the usurper, Henry VII was and organised the deaths of the boys after Richard had been betrayed and slain at Bosworth. Henry was the principle murderer here, and systematically had most of the rest of their family judicially murdered, leaving only two to be polished off by Henry VIII. Try reading The Daughter of Time, published by Josephine Tey in 1951 just before her death. It may be mystery thriller fiction, but it is a brilliant portrayal of the truth versus popular”
Guest – “The truth is that nobody knows for sure who was behind it, and nobody ever will... Because there isn't enough evidence. All you can do is judge the suspects on the evidence that does exist, and the evidence seems to point mostly towards Richard. He had the means, and the best motive. Obviously he didn't actually kill them himself, he would have got someone else to do it. Didn't the boys mother agree to marry Henry before the battle of Bosworth, in anticipation of making him king? She would have been highly unlikely to do that if she didn't already believe that her sons were dead. Why would she betray her young sons in favour of an untested usurper? You sound like you might be someone from that Richard III society, who are trying to rehabilitate his image. But didn't they also claim that Richard's bent spine was all tudor propaganda? but that was shown to be true when they dug up the skeleton in the car park -- so the "tudor propaganda" turned out to be reliable in that c”
Craig’s review – “It's amazing how many places you can get into for free by pretending to be religious — St. Paul's, Westminster Abbey, Hampton Court... and now the Chapel Royal at Tower of London. If I knew London sightseeing was so cheap for christians I would have converted ages ago. It must be one of the perks — not only do you get entry into heaven, but you get free entry into… continued”
62-gun salute for Prince Charles’ birthday – 14 Nov 2018 – The HAC will be firing off a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London, to make sure everyone knows it's Prince Charles' birthday.
Evensong Mass at St. Paul’s Cathedral – Every day – If you attend a choral Evensong service at St Paul's Cathedral, you can wander around and see part of the Cathedral for free.
Evensong Mass at Westminster Abbey – Every day (except Wed) – You can enjoy a choral Evensong service at Westminster Abbey for free, which combines a traditional mass with a choir.
Sunday organ recitals at St Paul’s Cathedral – Every Sun (apart from the last Sun of the month) – Every Sunday St Paul's Cathedral invites one of the world's finest organists to play on the Grand Organ for half-an-hour.
Choral Mass at Hampton Court Palace – Every Sun (except during the summer) – Attend a Sunday service in one of the country's most beautiful chapels -- Henry VIII's Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace.
Disclaimer: Event details can change at short notice and you should reconfirm everything before making plans