Rediscover Sir Walter Raleigh’s ‘Lost Garden’ at the Tower of London

A ‘Lost Garden’ is now open at the Tower of London, to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of the famous adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh.

As one of the Tower’s most famous prisoners, Sir Walter Raleigh led a notorious life, first as a court favourite of Elizabeth I and later as an enemy of James I. He was imprisoned at the famous fortress on three separate occasions, living at times with his wife and family, until he was eventually executed in Westminster on 29 October 1618. Deprived of freedom, but living in relative comfort, Raleigh used the courtyard outside the infamous ‘Bloody Tower’ to grow plants from the New World and experiment with ingredients for an ‘Elixir of Life’.

Visitors can now explore Raleigh’s ‘Lost Garden’, occupying the same spot where the original apothecary garden once stood. A new permanent display at the Tower of London, the garden features a range of fragrant herbs, fruit and flowers. Take in the varieties, smell the scents and discover how they were used by Raleigh and his wife, Bess Throckmorton to create herbal medicines.

From the garden, step into Raleigh’s study in the newly re-presented Bloody Tower, which has been dressed to reveal the reality of “high status” imprisonment. A combination of film, sound, graphics and tactile objects provide a candid insight into Raleigh’s time at the Tower, including his passion for poetry and science.

Dominique Driver, Senior Interpretation Manager, Historic Royal Palaces, said:

“A dashing adventurer and some time favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, today Sir Walter Raleigh is remembered for introducing tobacco from the American colonies. However, he also spent a significant amount of his life imprisoned at the Tower of London. The re-presented Bloody Tower and ‘Lost Garden’, explore Raleigh’s fascinating story in new and innovative ways, offering a real chance to experience history right where it happened.”

*Lead image Credit ©Historic Royal Palaces / SWNS



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