Did you know… Oliver Cromwell turned the Palace into a prison during the English Civil War.
Lambeth Palace has been the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury since 1207. The oldest surviving part of the Palace is Lollard’s Tower, which dates from 1440. The large brick gatehouse dates from 1495.
It has been the scene of numerous uprisings throughout history. Wat Tyler ransacked it during the Peasant’s Revolt, and chopped off the archbishop’s head. The 1650s saw it embroiled in the English Civil War, and in 1780 it was placed under siege during the Gordon Riots.
The medieval crypt and Great Hall date from the 17th-century and house the famous Lambeth Palace Library. This was the first public library in the whole history of England, and houses many notable treasures, like Queen Elizabeth I’s prayer book and illuminated manuscripts.