Getting into the Tower of London for services
in The Chapels Royal.
- There are two Chapels Royal in the Tower of London.
- The larger is the freestanding Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, on Tower Green.
- The smaller is the Chapel of St John the Evangelist, on the third floor of the White Tower.
- The regular Sunday services (0915* and 1100) are always open to the public, free of charge. You do not need a ticket to enter the Tower in order to attend a service in either of the chapels but please note that free entry to attend a service does not entitle you to visit the rest of the Tower. You will be issued with a card which grants you temporary access to the Tower for the duration of the service plus 15 minutes, after which you are required to leave the Tower.
- Please note that for certain major services, in particular the Christmas Carol Service, admission is by ticket issued in advance and/or by named lists. Anyone arriving for those services without a ticket or whose name is not on a list may be refused admission. The Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula seats only 180 - far fewer than many parish churches - and there is simply not room for as many as would like to attend some major services.
For these services, please check by the preceding Friday with the Chapel Administrator TowerofLondonChapelAdministrator@hrp.org.uk to avoid disappointment. Thank you for your understanding.
- For regular Sunday services, entry points are different for the 0915 and 1100 services:
- for 0915 services, entry is by the West Gate, opposite the Gift Shop;
- for 1100 services, entry is by the Middle Drawbridge on the wharf.
- In both cases, you should be at the relevant entry point about 20-25 minutes before the time of the service. Tell the Yeoman Warder on duty that you are there to attend a religious service in the chapel. The Yeoman Warder will let you into the Tower about 20 minutes before the service starts.
- For evening services, entry to the Chapels is always by the Middle Drawbridge.
- It takes about 5-10 minutes to walk from the gate to either chapel.
- The shorter route to the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula involves a flight of more than 20 steps up; the longer route has an uphill slope.
- The Chapel of St John the Evangelist is on the third floor of the White Tower and is accessible only up several flights of steps.
- For 1100 Sunday services in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, you will be held at the barrier just outside the chapel until the choir have finished rehearsing, which is usually at or just after 1045. (For State Parades and certain other major services you may be admitted earlier, so you will wish to arrive earlier.)
- If you are attending a special service in one of the chapels, such as a wedding or a service for an outside body, the organisers must provide the Tower authorities beforehand with a list of those expected. Any whose names are not on such lists may be refused admission.
- The Tudor Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula has a short flight of steps down to the entrance.
- The mediaeval Chapel of the John the Evangelist in the White Tower is on the third floor, up several flights of steps. There is no lift.
- Unfortunately neither of the two Chapels is accessible for wheelchairs.
- *On the first Sunday of each month, and on other occasions when there is a major service in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula at 1100, the 0915 Holy Communion is held in the Chapel of St John the Evangelist in the White Tower.
- There are no services on the first Sunday after Christmas, the first Sunday after Easter or throughout the month of August.
If you have any queries about access to the Tower for religious services, contact the Chapel Administrator: TowerofLondonChapelAdministrator@hrp.org.uk .
The map below should help you to find your way to the Chapels within the Tower.