The curfew bell has rung from this tower for centuries; the current bell dates from 1651. The tower, and the wall next to it, were built during the reign of Richard I (1189-99) and once stood on the edge of the river. It is thought that Sir Thomas More was imprisoned here in 1534.
You can see the exposed plinth at the base of the Bell Tower, showing how tall the tower was before the Outer Ward was built around it. In later centuries, the only access to the Bell Tower was through the Lieutenant's Lodgings, making it a very secure prison. In 1534 the Catholic Bishop John Fisher and, probably, Sir Thomas More, were imprisoned here for refusing to acknowledge Henry VIII as supreme head of the Church of England.
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