If you’ve followed this blog for a while you will know of my fascination with Anne Boleyn. She was, of course, Henry VIII of England’s second wife and the mother of Elizabeth I. She was executed inside the Tower of London on 19 May 1536 after being found guilty of treason, incest and adultery.
This memorial commemorates several people, including Anne, who were executed and it says it the spot upon which they were executed. However, it is much more likely that the execution took place near the Waterloo Barracks.
After the execution, Anne’s body was brought to the St. Peter ad Vincula chapel.
This chapel is only accessible if you’re going on a tour.
Last year I spotted this picture on Twitter. It was taken by Rebecca English from the DailyMail and I have her permission to post it.
This is inside the crypt of the chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula and according to Rebecca, this is also where the supposed remains of Anne Boleyn are. I say supposed because they were identified in 1876 and I’m not sure they would have had enough evidence to conclude back then if it was really her and maybe even her sister in law, Jane.
I found this picture rather interesting because I had always assumed that the bodies were still under the tiles in the chapel. Anne Boleyn even has a memorial tile there.
Doyne C. Bell Notices of the Historic Persons Buried in the Chapel of St. Peter Ad Vincula in the Tower of London (1877)
I did manage to find this on the website of Historic Royal Palaces:
‘However, after the fire of 1841 which destroyed the Grand Storehouse, the decision was taken to remove bodies from the Chapel’s graveyard which ran into the area now known as the Broadwalk. The construction of the new Waterloo Barracks encroached on this area, leading to the removal of the bodies and so the ordnance buildings were converted into a crypt for this purpose. Many of the original lead plaques from this period can be seen on the Crypt’s walls. Although new burials in the Chapel were banned after 1853, the Crypt has been used to take bodies removed from under the floor of the Chapel in the Victorian renovations of 1876 as well as remains discovered during twentieth century excavations.’ 1 –
So perhaps there is some truth to it, but since Anne Boleyn was never identified in the era of DNA I guess we’ll never know exactly where she is!
- http://www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/stories/thechapelproject/chapelhistory ↩