The Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula is the parish church of the Tower of London.
It's name translates as 'St Peter in Chains' and refers to St Peter's first imprisonment under Herod in Jerusalem. This sombre name is appropriate for a building set in such a sombre place.
The present church, rebuilt in 1520, dates from the reign of Henry the VIII, and stands to the north of Tower Green where numerous executions took place.
Many of the famous victims to be executed on Tower Green are buried in the adjoining churchyard. These include Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, the 2nd and 5th wives of Henry VIII, and Lady Jane Grey, who reigned for nine days in 1553. Sir Thomas More and Sir John Fisher, who incurred the wrath of Henry VIII, and were later canonised by the Roman Catholic Church, are also buried here.
A list of those executed can be seen on the west wall.
At the west end of the church is a short tower, surmounted by a lantern bell-cote, and inside the church is a nave and shorter north aisle, lit by windows with cupsed lights but no tracery, a typical Tudor design.
The most important feature of St Peter's is it's magnificent monuments. In the north-west corner is a memorial to John Holland, Duke of Exeter, who died in 1447, a Constable of the Tower. Under the central arcade lies the effigy of Sir Richard Cholmondeley, who died in 1544, a Lieutenant of the Tower. In the sanctuary there is an impressive monument to Sir Richard Blount, who died 1574, and his son Sir Michael, died 1596, both Tudor Lieutenants of the Tower who would have witnessed many of the executions.