Inside the Tower of London series 2

Inside the Tower of London is back with a second series, starting 20 August 2019 on Channel 5.

Join Yeoman Warders, Tower experts and, of course, our ravens for eight new episodes as they go behind the scenes to combine the modern-day with stories from a thousand years of history.

In this fascinating new series, we'll meet the first baby ravens born inside the Tower for three decades, learn about the rediscovery of the last remaining dress belonging to Elizabeth I, join Tracy Borman as she investigates declassified documents revealing how the Tower spied on German prisoners in 1939, and witness the excavation of skeletons buried in the heart of the Tower.

The Ravenmaster at the Tower of London holds a baby raven

Series 2, episode 1

21:00, 20 August 2019 on Channel 5

Yeoman Warder AJ Clark stands outside the Queen's House at the Tower of London

In this episode we follow Ravenmaster Chris Skaife as he attempts to breed baby ravens at the Tower — leading to the first raven chicks to be born at the Tower in 30 years. Chris must then decide which raven will remain at the Tower.

Tower Director Colonel Dick Harrold prepares for his retirement after 15 years, and savours his last ever gun salute as the Governor of the Tower.

AJ Clark is the second woman to join the 37 Yeoman Warders at the Tower. Her new fitness regime causes a huge headache for Tower tailor Russell Kashket who has to alter her world-famous scarlet uniform.

The Tower was for centuries the most notorious prison in the country. Historic Royal Palaces Chief Curator Tracy Borman finds out what happened to the young Elizabeth I when she was jailed here after being caught up in a plot to overthrow Mary I.

And we discover the fate of Elizabeth I's favourite, adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh, who fell from grace and was imprisoned in the Tower for over a decade. Four hundred years on, his extraordinary Lost Garden has been brought back to life outside his re-created study in the Bloody Tower.

Watch episode 1 on My5

Series 2, episode 2

21:00, 27 August 2019 on Channel 5

For centuries the Tower was the most important military fortress in the country and, to this day, the Tower's Yeoman Warders must still have to have a military background. The Tower's connection with the armed forces is most acute when it commemorates war anniversaries.

In this episode Chief Yeoman Warder Pete McGowran is involved in Beyond the Deepening Shadow: The Tower Remembers, the Tower's celebration of the end of the First World War, which saw a spectacular display as the moat was filled with 10,000 individual flames.

After a month living with Ravenmaster Chris and his wife, it's time for young Raven George to join the rest of the ravens. But not all the ravens are happy to receive a new member, especially young Poppy, and a spot of jealousy ensues.

Chief Curator Tracy Borman unearths some recently declassified documents which reveal details of an MI9 operation at the Tower involving Nazi prisoners and the development of German long range rockets.

Tracy also explores the 20th-century story of celebrated knight of the realm, Sir Roger Casement, who went from hero to prisoner when he was locked up in the Tower. Despite an impressive humanitarian record with remote tribes around the world, Casement’s support of Irish independence - as well as his homosexuality - ultimately led him to a stay at the Tower.

Watch episode 2 now on My5
The Tower of London Moat, showing an aerial view of the Beyond the Deepening Shadow installation and lit-up city skyline

Series 2, episode 3

21:15, 3 September 2019 on Channel 5

A member of Historic Royal palaces staff stands on Tower Green surrounded by the Tudor buildings of the Queen's House at the Tower of London. A guard can be seen in the background

The Tower of London is the nation’s most famous fortress. For centuries it’s housed the Crown Jewels, a symbol of royal sovereignty. Even today the Crown Jewels are so important that HM The Queen cannot open Parliament unless they are present.

In this episode, the Tower's Collections Curator Sally Dixon Smith discovers what happened to Henry VIII’s heavily jewelled imperial crown, which Oliver Cromwell ordered be destroyed after he seized power.

Elsewhere, it's the first day at work for new Tower Director Brigadier Andrew Jackson. And as Donald Trump lands on British soil it also happens to be the day of the longest gun salute in living memory and Andrew's first public appearance.

Historic Royal Palaces curator Eleri Lynn goes in search of a rare treasure once kept at the Tower – the last surviving dress of Elizabeth I, recently discovered in a small village church in Bacton, Herefordshire.

And keeper of the Tower Armouries Bridget Clifford explores the luxurious and extraordinarily extravagant golden armour of Charles I, which offers a clue to his brutal fate.

Watch episode 3 on My5

Series 2, episode 4

21:15, 17 September 2019 on Channel 5

In this episode we discover some of the most dramatic and unusual attempted escapes from the Tower, including the case of Henry Howard. After being sentenced to death by hanging, drawing and quartering during the reign of Henry VIII, Howard desperately searched for a possible means of escape. In such a heavily fortified castle, the sewage system was one of the few chinks in its armour. The toilet waste dropped straight into the moat, and every night the sluice gates were opened to let the river Thames take it away. Seeing an opportunity, Howard made his daring attempt to escape.

As the Tower falls silent and the public leave for the day, curator Sally Dixon-Smith investigates one of the Tower’s most intriguing mysteries. Sally has deciphered some strange looking graffiti left behind by a Tudor mystic, Hew Draper. Draper carved the complex graffiti into the walls of his cell but then seems to have disappeared into thin air.

Every night, the atmosphere in the Tower changes dramatically. Yeoman Warder Chris Clawson is on night duty and explores the ancient buildings after dark – with over a thousand years of often violent history, being on guard duty here is not for the faint hearted, as Chris discovers.

And it's not just Chris at work at night. Chris Skaife, the Tower's Ravenmaster, has his own night time routine – namely, tracking down the ravens that guard the Tower just as they have for centuries.

Watch episode 4 on My5
A member of Historic Royal Palaces staff stands in the doorway of a period building. There is a sign saying 'The Curator of Historic Royal Palaces' on the wall to the right

Series 2, episode 5

21:00, 01 October 2019 on Channel 5

A painting of Lady Jane Grey, also known as the Nine Days' Queen, who was imprisoned in the Tower of London and executed in February 1554 having been found guilty of high treason

At the heart of this episode is one of the Tower of London's greatest tragedies — the story of teenage Queen Lady Jane Grey, who was executed at the Tower during the reign of Mary I.

Join Historic Royal Palaces curators as they investigate Jane's imprisonment at the Tower, and explore ancient graffiti carved into the walls by her fellow prisoners — a reminder of the once-powerful lives that were destroyed here.

Chief Curator Tracy Borman delves into the archives to examine documents relating to Edward VI, who disinherited his half-sisters Mary and Elizabeth in favour of Jane and her family. 

Plus, for the first time ever, cameras capture a poignant annual ceremony in which a lone woman comes to lay flowers and remember Jane on the anniversary of her death.

Watch episode 5 on My5

Series 2, episode 6

21:00, 08 October 2019 on Channel 5

In episode six, Tracy Borman goes on the hunt for the lost royal palace of Henry VIII. Tracy investigates the changes that Henry made at the Tower for Anne Boleyn, his second Queen.

To discover what this lost palace would have been like, Tracy visits Henry's kitchens at Hampton Court Palace to find one of the last tantalising surviving fragments of Henry's great passion for Anne.

Back at the Tower, the wardens explain the surprising and gruesome history of the White Tower, and reveal what it's like to work in a 1,000-year-old building. We'll also find out how the staff transform the White Tower into a jungle nightclub for an event.

Watch episode 6 on My5

Series 2, episode 7

21:00, 15 October 2019 on Channel 5

In episode seven we follow the Tower's Deputy Governor Deborah Whittingham as she leads the preparations for the Constable's Dues.

Meanwhile, Tracy Borman investigates the Duke of Wellington and discovers how he reinvented the Tower during his time as Constable. Wellington reformed the Yeoman Body and strengthened the Tower's military stronghold with the Waterloo Block.

Tracy also tracks the path of the worst fires in the Tower's history, which destroyed the Grand Storehouse and even reached the Crown Jewels.

Watch episode 7 on My5
Visitors queue for the Crown Jewels on a sunny day. Around them, from left to right, Waterloo Block, the Royal Fusiliers' Building and the White Tower can be seen with blue sky in the background

Series 2, episode 8

21:00, 22 October 2019 on Channel 5

A conservator stands in front of the White Tower of the Tower of London

In this episode we follow the remarkable discovery of the first complete skeletons discovered by archaeologists at the Tower of London.

Two skeletons, buried for centuries as visitors walked innocently over their graves. But who are they, and why were they buried right by the entrance to the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula?

The Tower's curators turn detective to unpick a fascinating puzzle of life at the Tower during the Tudor period, involving careful study of the bones and intricate analysis of the buildings.

And we explore one of the Royal Armouries' most treasured Tower possessions: a handgun owned and fired by Henry VIII himself. He loved shiny suits of armour, but his greatest fascination was ultra-modern firepower!

Chief Curator Tracy Borman also goes in search of the Great Fire of London and how it almost destroyed the Tower.

Watch episode 8 on My5
Inside the Tower of London series 2

Watch the show on Channel 5

Catch up on series 1 of Channel 5's Inside the Tower of London and watch series 2 as it airs on My5.

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Young boy looking towards the imperial state crown in the Crown Jewels exhibition
Things to see Highlights

Prepare to be dazzled by this breathtaking, world famous collection of 23,578 gemstones at the Tower of London.

Open daily

Tower of London

Allow one hour

Included in palace admission (members go free)

A Yeoman Warder gives a tour to a group of visitors outside the chapel of St Peter Ad Vincula at the Tower of London
Tours and talks Highlights

Discover captivating stories of pain and passion, treachery and torture on the Yeoman Warder tours at the Tower of London.

Daily

Tower of London

Tours begin every 30 minutes

Included in palace admission (members go free)

The Tower of London Deputy Ravenmaster attends to a raven with Tower Green and the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula in the background.
Things to see

Meet the famous ravens at the Tower of London and discover why they are known as the guardians of the Tower.

Daily

Tower of London

Included in palace admission (members go free)