The Burial Positions in St Peter ad Vincula

The plan you see below is based on the “suggested plan of interments in the chancel” from Doyne C Bell’s 1877 book “Notices of the Historic Persons Buried in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula in the Tower of London” which is a record of the restoration work carried out on the chapel in 1876 and 1877. The Victorian workers were responsible for laying the tiled floor in the chancel and marking the burial sites with the memorial tiles which can be seen today.

The plan is based on the Chapel’s records of burials and remains found during the work.

Anne Boleyn's memorial tile

36 thoughts on “The Burial Positions in St Peter ad Vincula”

  1. Victoria South says:

    I recently visited The Tower of London and saw a plaque on the wall near the door with the name dacre on it – I didn’t have time to read it properly. I live near herstmonceux in East Sussex whosw castle has connections with the darcre – can you tell me about the darce whise placue it was?

    1. Lenoir Melton says:

      Can you please tell me if Lord William Boyd, 4th Earl of Kilmarnock, is buried in St. Peter’s Chapel in the tower? If so, is he in the wall? My family has different stories about where he is buried.

    2. Dee Victoria Geiger says:

      Claire who are the Blount remains were they executed as well?

      Thank you for all you do.

  2. It’s really too bad they can’t find descendants of Mary Boleyn or her siblings and do DNA testing on the remains they believe to be Anne’s and determine which ones are hers.

    1. Claire says:

      Mary’s children, Henry and Catherine, are buried in Westminster Abbey so it could be done but it would be such a shame to exhume them all and cause damage to the floor at St Peter ad Vincula and the tombs in Westminster Abbey.

        1. carolita says:

          it is not necessary to find the descendants as long as they can exume anne´s father or mother and take some few miligrames of sample for the dna. it is just a comment as i dont know if her parents´graves can be found.

        2. Claire says:

          We know where her parents are – Thomas is buried at St Peter’s, Hever, and Elizabeth is at St Mary’s, Lambeth, now The Garden Museum.

    2. Debora Tumlinson says:

      According to, and records, I am a descendant of Mary Boleyn.

      1. Kevin J Morgan says:

        Isn’t that special!

        1. Margaret J Watts says:

          Haha.. Snarky man.. Well many are related to people of that time.. I am a lowly descendant of Percy Shelly and his sour poetry.. I am looking further back hoping to find some other good death.. Beheadings, hangings, etc.. Maybe a common thief.. Most of mine are butcher, bakers and candlestick makers.. Who knew?

    3. Desiree St.Paul says:

      Queen Anne Boleyn along with those bodies who were re-interred in 1877 will never be exhumed again. There was extensive damage to that burial site discovered at that time, and Queen Victoria had it repaired, then examining, identifying, and re-interring all of those bodies under 2 slabs of concrete to prevent future damage, plus lying the identifying tiles over each re-interment so they never could be disturbed again.

  3. Pam Zielinski says:

    While visiting the Tower last year, I was disappointed that I couldn’t see the resting place of Queen Anne Boleyn. I was told that the chapel was closed to the public. No explanation was given. I hope in the near future I will be able to view hers and others without any problems.

    1. Claire says:

      Hi Pam,
      It’s a working place of worship, so if there’s a special service on it is closed to the public. It’s a shame you missed out.

      1. John McGowan says:

        You can join the 40 minute tour, next time you are there, by the Yeoman Warders. This enjoyable tour ends up in the St.Peter ad Vincula church. The time in there is limited, places & points of interest are shown and then it’s out folks! No wondering around! So that is disappointing to say the least!

        1. Claire says:

          If you go for the whole day then you can hang around and visit the chapel towards the end of the day when they open it to the public after the Yeoman Warders’ tours have ended. That way, you get to visit it in peace and quiet and without being ushered out.

    2. Nicole says:

      Really? there mustve been a service on then as you can gain access to the chapel through a guided tour and it is open to the public from half past 4 until closing time, ive visited inside every time ive visited the tower, and actually laid flowers on Annes grave on her death anniversary, sorry to hear you couldnt visit it

    3. Nancy says:

      Hi Pam. I also visited Anne Boleyn’s grave in the Chancel while on a private visit to the Chapel. The public can take a Yeoman’s tour into St. Peter’s but are not allowed up into the Chancel. Catherine Howard and Lady Jane Gray are also buried under the Chancel.

  4. Amber says:

    Out of curiousity, where’s Thomas Cromwell buried? I thought it was here; however, he was executed in 1540.

    1. Claire says:

      Hi Amber,
      Cromwell was also buried at St Peter’s, but in an unmarked grave.

  5. Roger Baldry says:

    Would Queen Anne Boleyn be deserving of a current day pardon? Can our current monarch rule such action?

    1. Nancy says:

      There is no need for Queen Elizabeth II to issue a pardon as it is well documented that Anne Boleyn was not guilty of treason as charged.

      1. Gaynor JOSEPH says:

        Gulity on trumped up charges.

  6. Nancy says:

    I visited St. Peter’s today to research Queen Anne Boleyn for my work at the Westminster Abbey education centre. The Canon responsible for the safe keeping of the tombs showed me around and told me that there is no mistake as to where the Queen is buried. She is in a vault under the Chancel and was buried according to her wishes, with her head held firmly against her body by her arm. She was buried in the gown she wore to her execusion. The only uncertainty is whether or not she still had her finger bearing her royal ring.

    1. Claire says:

      That is highly unlikely. Execution victims were usually stripped of their outerwear and their clothes given to the executioner in part payment for their execution. Sir William Kingston, her gaoler, was also reimbursed for Anne’s possessions. A coffin had not been provided for her burial so an elm chest from the armoury, which used to contain bow staves, was used and it would have been very narrow so her gown would not have fit into it and her head was probably just put wherever it could fit. There were no wishes where a traitor was concerned, unfortunately.

  7. Janet Dill says:

    When the beheaded were buried. Were their severed head placed with them? We’re they buried in anything or just placed in the have earth?

  8. Ronald Wharton says:

    I am searching for photos or you tube film of burial location of sir George Wharton 1st Baronet who is buried here.

  9. J J Roos says:

    Is the spy “Willem Johannes Roos” executed in 1915 in the Tower buried in St Peters chapel, if not, then where?

    1. Claire says:

      No, the spies who were executed were buried in Plaistow Cemetery, Newham.

      1. JJ Roos says:

        Thank you, I will try to find his grave if its there. I have the same naam but as far as i kan find out up to now he is no close family or relative.

  10. John James says:

    The heads of trators were put on spikes and exhibited on London Bridge

    1. Claire says:

      Not all of them. We know for example that the heads of Anne Boleyn and the men that were involved in her fall were all buried with their bodies. See

  11. Geoffrey Lasky says:

    My late wife (Susan Rainsford) and I visited the chapel in 1983 and were surprised to discover what appeared to be the burial site of an ancestor, Gen. Charles Rainsford, near the alter. He lived almost the whole of the eighteenth century. On arriving home, we did find him on the family tree. Were our eyes deceiving us? How would this have come about?

    1. Claire says:

      Yes, General Charles Rainsford was buried in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula along with his first wife, father and uncle. His uncle had served as deputy lieutenant of the Tower.

  12. Tracy Smith says:

    Hi Clair,
    In this modem age their are many new technology’s such as 3D printing if they used the measurements from their investigations pulse using her Portrait do you think they could recreate a 3-D version of Queen Anne Boleyn to see if early accounts and portraits of her features were correct and to finally give our Queen a real face .

  13. Brandon says:

    Why didn’t Anne’s parents claim her body & bury else where? Did they know where she was buried?

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