The Tower of London
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information was researched by our volunteer team member
Location: London, England
The Roman Emperor, Claudius, chose this site on which to build a fort over 1,000 years before William the Conqueror chose this site to build the Tower of London. It is the oldest fortress, palace and prison in Europe, which can only mean it has a very long history of treachery, torture, execution and murder. Is it any doubt that it is one of the most haunted places in all England? To give you an idea of how many souls could be haunting the Tower of London here is a short list of just some of the people (enemies of the Crown) who were executed here:
FOR OVER 400 YEARS, PRISONERS WHO WERE SENTENCED TO DEATH, WERE, BEHEADED, BURNED ALIVE, DRAWN AND QUARTERED OR HUNG AT THE TOWER OF LONDON.
Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, Lady Jane Grey (17 yrs old)
Those who lost their lives in public execution included:
"2 Archbishops, 6 Dukes, 10 Earls, 1 Marquis, 1 Viscount, 15 Barons, 33 Knights, 1 Bishop and 1 Prior."
Public executions attracted large crowds, they were a barbaric spectacle, the last was in 1780. The site of the scaffold in Trinity Square Gardens is clearly marked.
In 1388, according to records, Sir Simon Burley is the first man to be executed on Tower Hill. The first permanent scaffold was built during Edward IV’s reign in 1465. Prisoners held in the Tower who were condemned to death and were executed here were royalty. The executions were not opened to the public. Commoners were executed at Tyburn.
"Some of those executed on Tower Hill were:"
John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, 1553
His grandson Lord Guilford Dudley, 1554
Sir Thomas More, 1535
John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, 1535
Henry, Earl of Surrey (son of the Duke of Norfolk), 1547
Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, 1552
Thomas Seymour, Lord Seymour of Sudeley, (Lord Admiral, 4th husband to Queen Dowager Katherine Parr, Edward Seymour’s younger brother), 1549
Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, 1540
On the spot where the scaffold once stood is a commemorative plaque. On the plaque are the names of those who were executed here:
William, Lord Hastings, by order of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, in June 1483
Queen Ann Boleyn, 2nd wife of Henry VIII, May 19, 1536
Margaret, Countess of Salisbury, the last of the Plantagenet family, May 27, 1541
Queen Catherine Howard, 5th wife of Henry VIII, February 13, 1542
Jane, Viscountess Rochford, February 13, 1542
Lady Jane Grey, wife of Lord Guilford Dudley, February 12, 1554
Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, February 25, 1601
Buried in the Chapel of St Peter as Vincula (St. Peter in Chains) are:
The Duke of Somerset
The Duke of Northumberland
Lady Jane Grey
Lord Guilford Dudley
*The Duke of Monmouth
*The Lord of Kilmarnock
*The Lord of Balmerino
*The Lord of Lovat, *"They along with the duke were executed for participating in the rebellion of 1745."
Charles Wyndham, Keeper of the Regalia, was the last to be buried in the Chapel in 1872.
THE GHOSTS OF THE TOWER OF LONDON:
December 1995, an American tourist was taking photos of her vacation to England and the Tower of London. She took a picture of Traitor’s Gate. After returning home the film was developed and in the shot you can clearly see a hand in the foreground, wearing a 16th century Yeoman Warder Uniform.
Thomas A. Becket is "the first reported sighting of a ghost at the Tower of London."
During the construction on the Inner Curtain Wall, Thomas appeared apparently unhappy about the construction, and it is said he reduced the wall to rubble with a strike of his cross. Henry III’s grandfather was responsible for the death of Thomas Becket, so Henry III wasted no time building a chapel in the Tower, naming it for the archbishop. This must have pleased Thomas’ ghost because there were no further interruptions during the construction of the wall.
The story of the little princes is still to this day a heartbreaking story that brings tears to ones eyes. They are "among the most poignant ghosts" in the Tower. Their disappearance in 1883 is very suspicious of wrong doing ,but by whom? The ghost of the twelve year old, King Edward V, and his nine year old brother, Richard, Duke of York, can been seen in the Bloody Tower, they are still wearing the white night shirts they had on the night they disappeared. They stand silently, hand in hand, before fading back into the stones of the Bloody Tower.
The most persistent ghost in the Tower of London is the ghost of Queen Anne Boleyn, and rightly so. After the heartache of learning the baby she carried for nine months was indeed a boy, the heir the King so desperately wanted, was still born would be more than a any mother could bear, for this reason and accused of infidelity, she was beheaded. Witnesses describe a female figure identified only by her dress. Queen Anne appears near the Queen’s House, close to the site where her execution was carried out. She can be seen leading a ghostly procession of Lords and Ladies down the aisle of the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula. She floats down the aisle to her final resting place. Queen Anne is buried under the Chapel’s altar. Her headless body has also been seen walking the corridors of the Tower.
Sir Walter Raleigh lived quite comfortable compared to others who were imprisoned in the Tower. His "rooms" are still furnished as they were in the 16th century, and can be seen when visiting the Tower today. He was executed by James I, and has been seen looking exactly as he does in his portrait hanging in the Bloody Tower.
The most grisly execution and thus haunting is that of the 70 year old Countess of Salisbury, the last of the Plantagenets. King Henry VIII had her executed for political reasons. The feisty Countess refused to put her head on the block like a common traitor. When her executioner came after her she ran, but was pursued by him, with his axe in hand hacking at her until he had hewn the Countess to death. Her ghost has been seen reliving this truly gruesome act. Also the shadow of a great axe has been seen falling across the scene of her murder.
At one time the Tower of London was home to the Royal Menagerie. Lions, leopards, bears, birds, monkeys and an elephant, that was a gift from the King of France, were kept on exhibit. On the stroke of midnight in January of 1815 a sentry saw a bear from this menagerie emerge from a doorway. He lunged at it with his bayonet, it passed right through the apparition. The Sentry was later found unconscious, it is said he died of fright within two months of this encounter.
Something unseen and very frightening is in the Salt Tower. This is one of the most haunted areas of the Tower of London complex. This is a very old section, dogs will not enter this ancient building, and ever since one of the Yeoman Warders was nearly throttled by a force unseen, they will not go in the area after nightfall.
In 1864, a soldier whose post was to guard the the Queen’s House, saw a apparition so real, that after ignoring the soldiers three challenges, he charged with all his might at the intruder with his bayonet, only to go straight through the figure. He was found unconscious at his post and was court martialed for neglecting his duty. Luckily there were two witnesses who corroborated his story. The soldier was eventually acquitted.
Lady Jane Grey is another tragic story of a young life cut short, due to the actions of others the most despicable of whom was her own father. She was the granddaughter of Mary (Henry VIII younger sister) and Louis XII of France. The Duke of Northumberland would lose everything if Henry VIII’s son were to die and Mary who was Catholic, would become queen. He and her father arranged her marriage to his son and persuaded her cousin Edward VI to name her his successor in case of his death instead of his two half-sisters. When Edward VI died she was crowned Queen of England, but the supporters of Mary overthrew her. Her own father got scared and in hopes to save his own skin, left the Tower and went to Tower Hill to proclaim Mary I, as the Queen of England, Lady Jane never left the tower, she and her husband were immediately imprisoned and sentenced to death. Queen Mary carried out the execution of Lady Jane’s father-in-law but set both Jane and her husband free. Her father was involved in a rebellion against Mary I, Lady Jane and her husband were again placed in the tower. Lady Jane watched as her husband was taken to Tower Hill where he was beheaded. She saw his body being carried back to the chapel, after which she was taken to Tower Green where she was beheaded. She was only 17 years old. Lady Jane Grey’s ghost was last seen by two Guardsmen on February 12, 1957, the 403rd anniversary of her execution. She was described as a "white shape forming itself on the battlements". Her husband, Guildford Dudley, has been seen in Beauchamp Tower weeping.
Catherine Howard escaped from her room in the Tower. "She ran down the hallway screaming for help and mercy. She was caught and returned to her room." The next day she was beheaded. Her ghost has been seen sill running down the hallway screaming for help.
"Phantom funeral carriages are seen on the grounds."
"A lovely veiled lady that, upon closer look proves to have a black void where her face should be."
WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE AN ENCOUNTER WITH ONE OF THESE GHOSTS? JOIN US ON ONE OF OUR HAUNTED CASTLES TOURS. WHO KNOWS, YOU COULD VERY WELL ENCOUNTER ONE!
THE QUEENS HOUSE:
Built in 1530 it replaced a Medieval constable’s house. "In the north wing is a small room where Anne Boleyn spent the last days of her life. On the west is the rampart known as Elizabeth’s walk. Next to it stood the house where Lady Jane Grey lived as a prisoner. It was from the windows of that house she saw her husband escorted from the adjoining Beauchamp Tower to his execution on Tower Hill. She then witnessed his headless body being brought back for burial in the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula.
"It was the Tudors who made the Tower of London notorious as a state Prison, especially Henry VIII."
"Some of the many who suffered the deadly loss of the King’s favor include two of his wives, Thomas Cromwell (his chief minister for a decade), and the Duke of Norfolk who served him for over thirty years."
Heretics were burned alive at Smith Field, outside the Tower walls.
Being imprisoned in the Tower and executed on Tower Hill were a recognition of rank.
The medieval towers and gate houses provided the Tower the space to hold prisoners in solitary confinement.
"Prisoners were expected to pay the costs of their upkeep if they had the funds. If they didn’t, they still might be provided for or they might have to depend upon the charity of family and friends on the outside".
Once you were convicted of treason all of your property would be confiscated by the Crown, and you would be maintained out of the proceeds. You would be "entitled to an allowance for food, fuel, and light according to a fixed scale which varied according to" your "rank in the peerage or the clergy."
Prisoners of rank were allowed to have their servants with them.
The Lieutenant of the Tower received allowances for each prisoner. If you were denied the food and fuel that was due to you chances are that money went directly into his pocket.
If you were lucky you would be one of the prisoners who had the "liberty of the Tower", meaning you could move freely within the Tower walls during daylight hours only.
If you were one of the unlucky "Close Prisoners" you would be restricted to your cell without visitors, you are not allowed to write or receive letters, and are constantly watched by your warder. You would be let out for exercise under guard only if your health was a concern.
If you were one of the many extremely unlucky prisoners you would be tortured. Prisoners were even brought from other prisons just to be tortured. Chances are you would be put on one or both of the two most notorious torture instruments, the rack or the "scavenger’s daughter" were only at the Tower.
Since there was no permanent torture chamber, you would be taken to the basement of the White Tower. You could also be tortured in your own cell.
"The use of torture was never indiscriminate, It was never used against a prisoner of rank in this status conscious age. Generally torture was not used without a warrants from the Privy Council."
During Elizabeth I’s reign, "the government published a careful justification of the torture inflected on Catholic missionary priests and Jesuits, It claimed torture was administered as 'charitably’ as possible. It was only used when the prisoner was almost certainly guilty or had vital information. It was applied slowly with the prisoner continuously being urged to answer the questions."
"There is no doubt that torture was used without a warrant and the manner of its use might go well beyond what official policy stated."
"Only a minority of prisoners were executed. Of the rest, some were freed, some were released on surety from family or friends, some were sent away to live under surveillance, some were banished, some were transferred to other prisons, and some died in the Tower of natural causes. Some even escaped."
"A prisoner could be held indefinitely simply at the monarch’s pleasure."
"Executions took place only following condemnation by the legal process, usually after a trial or act of parliament. But although the proper procedure were always followed, the outcome could be a foregone conclusion."
"THE FULL PENALTIES FOR TREASON WERE HANGING, DRAWING AND QUARTERING, usually at Tyburn (where the present day Marble Arch is). FOR MEN OF RANK DEATH WAS BY BEHEADING WITH AN AXE, ALMOST ALWAYS ON TOWER HILL."
"A FEW PRISONERS, MOSTLY WOMEN, DIED WITHIN THE TOWER ON THE GREEN TO SPARE THEM AND THE GOVERNMENT THE EMBARRASSMENT OF A PUBLIC EXECUTION."
The Tower of London (c.1074-97) is and extant example of a mote and bailey castle. The White Tower is the original Norman Keep.
In 1078 William the Conqueror began the construction of the White Tower. William I ordered the inquests that resulted in the monumental Domesday Book.
The Tower was used as a royal residence from the 13th century to 1600’s. "It has housed the Royal Mint, the Public Records, and the Royal Observatory, and from the 13th century until 1834 it housed the Royal Menagerie." After a lion attack on some soldiers in 1835, the menagerie was moved to Regent's Park Zoo. The Tower of London is one of the strongest fortresses in England, and still to this day guarders the Crown Jewels.
"According to the Doomsday Book of 1086, East London had a population of 700 people. The Constable of the Tower exercised certain rights over the eleven hamlets to the east for the recruitment and pressing of labor. These became known as ‘Tower Hamlets’."
Of the original structure, the Norman building, still standing, is the the White Tower. In 1240, Henry III had the tower white washed thus its name. Each new King added to the fortress. At the end of the 12th century Richard I added a moat which was filled by the River Thames. In 1830, the moat was drained and several human bones were discovered.
The White tower is encircled by an inner wall that has twelve towers. Some are: The Bloody Tower c.12th-13th century, which got its name when the "two Princes (the boy king Edward V and his brother Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York) were murdered here 1483." In 1674, the remains of two children were found under the stairway of St. John’s Chapel. The Wakefield Tower, where Henry VI was murdered in 1471. The Devereux Tower, named after Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, who was executed for treason in 1601. George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, reportedly drowned in a barrel of wine in this tower in 1478. The Beauchamp Tower c. 13th century, named for one of its prisoners, Thomas de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, who was held there by Richard II in 1397.
The outer wall which encircles the White Tower consists of six towers, two gates, and was surrounded by a moat which has been drained since 1843.
"It was customary for each monarch to lodge in the tower before his coronation and to ride in procession to Westminster through the city of London from the Tower."
King Henry VII (1457-1509) was the founder of the Tudor dynasty of English monarchs. He was the son of Edmund Tudor, a Welsh noble and Margaret Beaufort, a descendant of King Edward III. He was also related to the French royal family. Henry VII was in exile in France during the reign of Richard II. He gained the throne when he defeated and killed Richard III in the Battle of Bosworth Field on August 22, 1485. This was the end of the War of the Roses. Henry VII successfully ended the conflict between the rival branched of the royal family, Lancaster and York by marrying Elizabeth of York, daughter of King Edward IV. Henry was a Lancastrian. Their son Henry VIII succeeded to the throne upon Henry VII’s death. In efforts to further England’s prestige abroad, their daughter Margaret was married to James IV of Scotland and their daughter Mary to Louis XII of France.
In 1503 King Henry VII’s wife, Elizabeth of York bore their 7th child in the Tower. "Both mother and child died within a few days. Her body lay in state in St. John’s Chapel in the White Tower before being buried in Westminster Abbey."
Henry VIII, was King of England from 1509 to 1547, born June 28, 1491. Henry the didn’t think the Tower was majestic enough for his court, nor elegant enough to be used regularly as his residence. But soon after Henry VIII was crowned King, the Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire. Forced to frequent the tower he began building a palace at Bridewell. Cardinal Wolsey gave York Place to Henry sometime after 1529 which he remolded and is now Whitehall Palace. Shortly after he began construction on St. James Palace. Henry VIII made extensive improvements to the royal apartments in the White Tower, and renovated all of the buildings of the Tower. He rebuilt the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula which was also destroyed by fire.
Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536), the youngest daughter of King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I of Spain, and was the widow of Arthur, Henry VIII’s brother. The marriage was happy for many years but by 1527, Henry became concerned Catherine had borne no male heir to continue the Tudor line. Only one of Catherine’s children, the future Queen Mary I, survived infancy. After reading in a biblical text, marriage to a dead brother’s widow is forbidden, his conclusion was that he had displeased God and ordered Cardinal Wolsey to ask the papacy for a decree that his marriage was invalid so he would be free to marry again. Catherine had opposed the annulment, along with her nephew Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain. Charles V’s domination of Italy during this time rendered Pope Clement VII unable to grant Henry’s request. By now the King had fallen in love with Anne Boleyn. A divorce trial was held in London in 1529, without a coming to a decision. In anger Henry dismissed Wolsey. In 1532 he found a new chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, who proposed England break with the papacy so the the Archbishop of Canterbury, the highest officer in the English church, could grant the divorce. Parliament passed legislation in 1533. King Henry VIII was now able to marry Anne, and the Church of England was established as an independent national church, and no longer in communion with the Roman Catholic Church or the Pope.
Renovations were completed in time for the crowning of his new wife Anne Boleyn (1507-1536). "Anne arrived at the Tower in a river procession from Greenwich, just as Henry VIII’s mother, Elizabeth of York, had done years before. Henry VIII was at the Tower to greet Anne upon her arrival."
Henry’s infatuation with Anne and his desire for a male heir led to his divorce of his first wife. Anne and Henry were married in January 1533, and in September 1533, Anne Boleyn gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth. She was declared heir to the throne replacing Catherine’s daughter, Mary, who was now regarded as illegitimate. Henry soon lost interest in Anne, and in 1536, after the stillbirth of their son, Henry had her arrested.
But unlike Elizabeth of York, who upon returning to the Tower, died during childbirth, Anne returned to the Tower to be sentenced to death for the crimes of adultery and treason. Like Catherine, Anne Boleyn failed to give the King a son, for this reason and her infidelity, she was beheaded on May 19, 1536 at the Tower Green.
Jane Seymour(1509-1537), was the third wife of Henry VIII. She was Anne Boleyn’s lady-in-waiting when Henry VIII became attracted to her. They were married in 1536, just 11 days after the execution of his second wife, Anne. Jane gave Henry what he so ardently desired, she gave the King his heir, his son Edward, sadly, she lived for just 12 days after the birth of her son in 1537.
Henry VIII’s fourth marriage, which took place in January 1540, was arranged by Thomas Cromwell. Fearing a Catholic alliance against England he hoped to gain diplomatic support from Lutherans on the Continent, He picked Anne of Cleaves (1515-1557), who was from a Protestant ruling family in Germany. Henry VIII was so displeased with Anne’s appearance he divorced her almost immediately. Henry tired of Anne after only six months, their marriage lasting from January to July 1540. Cromwell was arrested in June, charged with treason and heresy. He was beheaded in London on July 28, 1540.
Catherine Howard was the fifth wife of Henry VIII. They were married after his annulment of marriage to Anne of Cleaves, on July 28, 1540, the same day Cromwell was beheaded. King Henry VIII married the niece of Cromwell’s enemy Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk. Catherine Howard was the only other wife of Henry VIII whose coronation was preceded by a procession from the Tower. The young, flirtatious and indiscreet Catherine was accused of adultery in November 1541, and like Anne, who was her cousin, she returned to the Tower where she was found guilty for the crimes of adultery and treason and sentenced to death. She was beheaded on February 13, 1542.
"Henry VIII never returned to the Tower again".
Henry VIII continued building on the Tower, south of the white Tower a Jewel House was built. Up to then the Crown Jewels were at Westminster. The Queen’s House was completed.
Guns were placed on various towers, including the White Tower. It had been used as a arsenal since the 14th century which Henry VIII expanded. He had a gun foundry and a gunpowder mill built at the Tower. In 1541 due to improper storage of the gunpowder, the Lion Tower had extensive damage caused by an explosion.
The sixth wife of Henry VIII was Catherine Parr (1512-1548) in 1543. This was King Henry VIII’s last marriage. Catherine compelled the aging Henry to show more kindness to his daughters, Mary and Elizabeth. Catherine Parr, was for the short time they were married an affectionate stepmother to Henry’s children. After his death (1547), Catherine married Baron Seymour of Sudeley, brother of Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset. Catherine died in childbirth in 1548.
"Today Henry’s largest gun, 5 tons, which was used on his flagship 'The Great Harry’ is once again in the tower along with guns from the ‘Mary Rose’."
Henry VIII’s personal armor was brought back to the Tower in the 17th century and are still on display today.
Edward VI was crowned shortly after his father’s death. The nine year old King was knighted by his uncle, Lord Protector, Edward Seymour at the Tower. Edward Seymour had also made himself Duke of Somerset. Somerset and Edward’s Privy Counselors took the Reformation even farther than Henry VIII. Many people became prisoners in Tower including Stephen Gardiner, one of Henry VIII’s counselors, and the Bishop of Winchester.
Religious changes included "the distruction of church ornaments which were thought to be instruments of superstition or idolatry. It is believed the images, paintings, and stained glass which medieval Kings had used to adorn several chapels in the Tower were removed at this time."
Somerset was overthrown and imprisoned in the Tower, but was released soon after. He was arrested a second time, for treason and received the death sentence. He was executed on Tower Hill, He was regarded as a martyr and bits of cloth were dipped in his blood by onlookers for souvenirs.
The new Lord Protector, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, dominated the government. He feared Northumberland would be ruined if Edward were to die, and his sister Mary, a Catholic, would become Queen. He arranged for his son Lord Guildford Dudley to marry Lady Jane Grey a Protestant, born in October 1537. Shortly before the death of her cousin, Edward VI was persuaded to name Lady Jane his successor in preference to his half-sisters Mary and Elizabeth. After the death of Edward, Lady Jane Grey was brought to the Tower, preparations for her coronation were being made by her father, the Duke of Suffolk, and her father-in-law. "But throughout the country Mary was being proclaimed as rightful Queen". In hopes to save himself Lady Jane Grey’s father left her at the Tower and went to Tower Hill to proclaim Mary as Queen. Lady Jane Grey was now a prisoner in the Tower. Northumberland was thrown in the Bloody Tower and later moved to Beauchamp Tower along with three of his sons, including Lady Jane’s husband, Guilford Dudley. His other two sons were imprisoned above the Coldharbour Gate.
Mary Tudor ruled England as Queen Mary I from 1553 until her death in 1558. She earned the title Bloody Mary for the executions of Protestants that occurred during her reign. She was the daughter of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. The Church of England became increasingly Protestant during the later years of Henry VIII’s reign, and Mary was treated harshly until she, with great reluctance, declared her parent’s union illegal and renounced Roman Catholicism. Privately she held on to her Catholic faith throughout the reign of her half-brother, Edward VI (1547-1553). Mary acceded to the throne and proceeded to restore Catholicism, reestablishing the traditional services and the authority of the Pope. In 1554 she married the future Philip II of Spain, son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Philip ruled jointly with Mary for the remainder of her life. The marriage sparked several rebellions, and during the last three years of Mary’s reign about 300 Protestants were executed, they were burned at the stake for their religious beliefs. Hundreds of Protestants spent the last years of her reign in exile. One rebellion was led by Sir Thomas Wyatt, who was defeated and he and his followers were imprisoned in the Tower. Lady Jane’s father was involved in another rebellion. Queen Mary finally agreed to have Lady Jane and her husband executed. February 1554, after his execution, Lady Jane watched as her husband’s body was brought back from Tower Hill. She was then taken to Tower Green and executed.
Elizabeth, Queen Mary’s sister, was put in the Tower suspected of complicity in the Wyatt Rebellion. She was brought by water and entered the Tower through the Traitor’s Gate. Refusing to land she protested her innocence saying, "I come as no traitor but as true a woman to the Queen’s Majesty as any is now living." She was put in the upper chamber of the Bell Tower. She was allowed to exercise every day outside. She could not have any visitors, except for a doctor, and was denied the liberty to read books.
Queen Mary I never had any children, upon her death on November 17, 1558, the throne passed without incident to her younger half-sister, Elizabeth I.
In November 1558, Elizabeth I (1533-1603) proceeded through London to the Tower of London, which saluted her by firing its cannons for a half hour. Five years earlier she entered the Tower through Traitor's Gate as a prisoner of her sister Queen Mary I. She returned only once before her coronation.
For over a generation the Tower had become unsuitable as a royal residence. The Palace Buildings in the Tower were let to fall into disrepair. In 1597, a survey described the hall as decayed. Early in her reign she renovated the fortifications and built new gun platforms on some of the roofs. A new mint was built. England’s coins had been greatly debased by the time Elizabeth came to power. She recalled all the old coins to be reminted, after which the face value of the coins corresponded with it’s true silver content. The new mint was built near the Salt Tower, which was between the inner and outer walls. She also built two refining houses one was at Coldwater Gate within the Tower and their other just outside the tower walls in East Smithfield.
"In 1562 the Office of Ordnance took over the Minories, a property near the tower, which was once a convent." It became the main ordnance storehouse.
Elizabeth immediately named Sir William Cecil her chief minister, with his help she concluded the famous Elizabethan Settlement for the Church of England.
Information obtained from: About.com\ Grolier Encyclopedia\* hiwaay.net (thanks to their extensive and interesting information about the Prison and the Tudors, I used a lot of direct quotes from their pages)\and various other articles