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.
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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”
Read Craig’s review of this event
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