Handpainted Tower of London chess set

£500.00
In stock
SKU

30168315\1

Please note the chess board is not included with these handpainted chess pieces

The royal palace and fortress of the Tower of London, founded by William the Conqueror shortly after 1066, is one of the world's most famous and spectacular castles. Known for housing the Crown Jewels, its Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters) and its ravens, the Tower is today the most visited historic site in Britain. This spectacular chess set has been hand carved in the UK and features some of the most well known Tower of London residents including th Ravens.

  • Handmade in the UK
  • Featuring the most well know residents of the Tower
  • Luxury wooden chess set available
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Please note the chess board is not included with these handpainted chess pieces

The White Tower, oldest of all the Tower's buildings, was originally built as a royal palace and fortress, but has also served as a prison, a royal chapel, a record office and a large storehouse for arms, armour and gunpowder. Tradition holds that the storerooms in the basement also doubled as the location for the torture of prisoners. The first recorded prisoner in the Tower of London was Ranulf Flambard, Bishop of Durham, who was imprisoned in the White Tower in 1100 on the orders of Henry I. He escaped in 1101 using rope smuggled to him in a barrel of wine.

The Tower has also housed several kings, including Richard II and Henry VI of England, John Baliol of Scotland, and John II ('the Good') of France. Three English queens have died within the walls of the Tower: Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, both wives of Henry VIII, and Lady Jane Grey. Other notable prisoners have included Guy Fawkes, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Princess Elizabeth (later Elizabeth I), and countless other knights and peers of the realm, alongside their servants and ordinary men and women imprisoned for theft, or as prisoners of war.

King King Henry VIII (1491-1547) was only 18 when he succeeded to the throne. Henry was described as a man of exceptional learning, beauty and culture. His was an immensely energetic reign. He strengthened the English Navy, incorporated Wales into England, made Ireland a kingdom, waged wars in France and Scotland, and involved himself deeply in the religious controversies of the time. He declared himself Supreme Head of the English Church and was then excommunicated by the Pope. In his later years, however, he appeared an overweight, cruel and savagely ruthless ruler, executing his advisers and wives - in a determined effort to secure a male heir. Henry died in January 1547 and was laid to rest beside his third wife, Jane Seymour, in St George's Chapel, Windsor.

Queen Queen Anne Boleyn (c1500-1536) was the second wife of Henry VIII and was said to have married the King in secret in January 1533, four months before his divorce from Catherine of Aragon was finalised. When she failed to produce the much-wanted male heir, she became vulnerable to courtly political intrigue. By 1536, the King was persuaded that she had committed adultery with, amongst others, her brother George. When one of the accused confessed under torture, they were all condemned and Anne was sent to the Tower of London. She was beheaded on Tower Green on 19 May 1536 and is buried in the Tower's Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula.

Bishop Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (1475-1530) was of humble birth but quickly rose to become one of Henry VIII's most trusted advisers. He was made Lord Chancellor in 1514 and virtually governed the country in the early years of Henry's reign, but fell from favour when he failed to secure Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon. He was arrested, but died before he could be sent to trial.

Knight Tower Raven. It is not known when the ravens first came to the Tower of London but their presence is protected by legend. It is their absence rather than their presence that is feared at the Tower - legend has it that if the ravens ever leave, the Tower and the kingdom will fall. It is said that Charles II decreed that there should always be at least six ravens at the Tower, a tradition which is still upheld today.

Rook The White Tower was the original Tower of London. Begun by William the Conqueror around 1080, it would have made a safe and impressive home for the newly crowned Norman invader. During its long life - it is almost as old as the Millennium - it has served many purposes including royal residence, royal observatory, record office, state prison and gunpowder store. It is still home to the Royal Armouries today.

Pawn Yeoman Warder. No one is exactly sure where the name 'Beefeater' comes from but it would be absolutely correct to say that the men and women guarding the Tower prefer the title Yeoman Warder. In fact the full and proper title is Yeoman Warder of Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London, Member of the Sovereign's Body Guard of the Yeoman Guard Extraordinary. As well as their duties at the Tower, Yeoman Warders attend the coronation of the sovereign, the Lord Mayor's show and other state and charity occasions.

Delivery

All orders are processed immediately and are despatched on clearance of payment - within 3-5 days, depending on the time of receipt and if the products are in stock. If a product is no longer available or out of stock, you will be contacted by phone or email as soon as possible and provided with a new delivery date, if applicable.

Shipping Charges

Postage and packing is based on geographical areas:

UK shipping is charged at £4.99 per order.

International shipping charges are based on the value of the order as follows:

EU: £12.00

US & Canada: £25.00

Rest of the World: From £30.00*

Some countries charge import duties and taxes. You are considered the importer of goods and must comply with all laws and regulations of the destination country of your order. 

Official palace guidebooks, up to a maximum of 3 in a basket, are delivered to a UK address free of charge.  If any other products, or additional guidebooks, are added to the basket, the delivery charges will apply as shown above.

*Exceptional delivery charges - We reserve the right to vary the standard shipping charges as shown in the grid above on certain items which are unusually high in weight, volume or value. We will contact customers to advise them on what the additional charge will be prior to shipping.

For more information, please check our delivery information page.

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