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Queen's House

This timber-framed Tudor structure was actually rebuilding by Henry VIII of an existing house. Originally called the Lieutenant's Lodgings, today it is the home of the Governor, the Lieutenant's successor as officer with local command of the Tower. Technically being the sovereign's residence in the Tower since 1858 it has been called the Queen's House or King's House depending on the sovereign. Being a private residency, the Queen's House is not open to the public.

Prisoners of distinction were lodged here and in the adjacent Bell Tower with access only being via the Queen's House. The Lieutenant would therefor be able to keep an eye on them as well and entertain them to dinner in his quarters in the south wing. Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard were among the prisoners who stayed in rooms in the west wing. The Council Chamber on the second floor of the south wing was used as an examination room for Guy Fawkes before and after his torture on the rack in the White Tower. He was eventually hanged, drawn and quartered in Palace Yard, Westminster, which was close to the target of his Gunpowder Plot.

The last state prisoner to stay in the Queen's House was Rudolf Hess, Deputy Führer of Nazi Germany. He was held here from 17-21 May 1941.



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