The Tyburn Tree. The gallows used for mass executions in London 1388-1783. Tyburn Convent

The Tyburn Tree

 The Tyburn Tree was the name used for the gallows used for mass executions in London.

Tyburn Tree Londonlandmarks
Tyburn tree map

The Tyburn Tree

Tyburn Tree
Execution at the Tyburn Tree
Tyburn Tree
The Location of the plaque between the trees at Marble Arch. April 2017
Tyburn Tree
The Tyburn Plaque at Marble Arch

The approximate site for the gallows is marked by a plaque in the middle of a traffic island on the corner of Bayswater Road and Oxford Street.
A river called the Westbourne started in West Hampstead.
Being fed by five streams it made its way south through Kilburn, Maida Vale, Marylebone and Paddington, finishing up into the Thames.

                      It was damned up in 1730 and became the serpentine.                                This river was joined by a Brook at Bayswater road.                    Its name was originally called Tuoburna- said to mean boundary stream.  This was used to describe the tributary of the Westbourne, The Tyburn Brook.
The area became known as Tyburnia.
Oxford Street was The Tyburn Road and Park Lane was called Tyburn Lane.

This was the principle place of Public Executions from 1388 until 1783.
Smithfields was also one of the most important locations for public executions.

Portable Gallows

After 1783 public executions took place outside Newgate Prison and Tower Hill.
Pirates were hanged in chains and gibbets ( Gallows type structures ) were on the marshes of both sides of the river.
Portable gallows were used to hang offenders near or outside the scene of their crimes.
13 boys were hanged in May 1517 when portable gallows were set up successively in Leadenhall, Newgate and Aldgate.
in 1571 the first permanent gallows were set up in Tyburn.
It was triangular in shape, probably for strength and could face three roads.
Being about 18 feet high with cross beams being able to hang 8 people at                                                           once, 8 or 9 feet across.                                                   Twenty four people could be executed on the gallows at once.

Execution places in London

Apart from Tyburn there were several regular places for execution in London.
To the east were Tower Hill and Execution Dock

                  From the North a traveller would see executions at Smithfield                    and Newgate Prison and if coming to London from the south                                 executions  could  be seen at Kennington Common.                                  At earlier dates travellers could see heads and quarters on London Bridge.

About 50 Offences carried the death penalty in the 17th century. In 1819 this rose to more than 200.

These crimes included arson, burglary, bankrupts hiding their assets, forgery, highway robbery, piracy, sodomy, pick pocketing with the value above 1 shilling, stealing above the value of 40 shillings, cutting down trees , destroying a pond containing fish and many more.

The Road to the Tyburn Tree

The first to be executed here was John Story in 1571.
The condemned would be taken by cart from Newgate prison under armed guards.
They would stop off at the ale houses on the way to Tyburn.                    Some would be drunk by the time of their execution.                            Being dressed in their best clothes or just a white gown to express they                                                   were innocent.                                                           Their coffins would also be on the cart with them.

Blowing Kisses

                       Women would blow kisses to the condemned.                               some would throw flowers others would throw dead cats or dung.
When they arrived at Tyburn a pigeon would be released to fly back to Newgate prison to inform them the prisoners had arrived.
The hangman would stop the cart under one of the cross beams and place a noose around the neck of the condemned. He would then whip the horse                                and the person would swing kicking.                                    The friends of the condemned would pull on the legs and beat on the chest of the hanging person in order to assist in the persons quick demise.

Men that committed treason were hung, drawn and quartered which involved the following;

The Tyburn Tree
Stringing up at the Tyburn

Being hung then cut down still alive.
Emasculated:- which involved the private parts being cut off.
Drawn:- which involved the removal of the bowels, usually through a                                         horizontal incision across the stomach.                                                      This all happened when the person was still alive.
Then beheaded.
Quartered:- The body being chopped into four pieces and displayed in prominent places across England.
some also had their hearts cut out while still alive.

Women that committed treason were instead burned at the stake.

The executioner would tie the woman to a stake with a ring around her neck. The executioner would strangle the victim so she would die from strangulation and not from being burnt alive. Sadly that didn’t happen all the time as the executioner on several occasions would find his hands being burnt from the radiated heat from the flames. This meant he had to                  let go of the implement around the victim’s neck.                       Consequently the victim was burnt alive.

The Hangman would claim the victims clothes once they were hanged. Some of the victims stripped off and threw their clothes into the crowds to prevent the hangman from getting them.
The bodies would be buried nearby or sent away for dissection as the surgeons were allowed a certain amount of bodies every year.

Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell

In 1661 the bodies of Oliver Cromwell , Ireton and Bradshaw were exhumed from Westminster Abbey by King Charles 11 for signing the death warrant on Charles 1.

They were hung on the Tyburn Tree from sunrise to sunset.

They were hung in chains, then beheaded, then buried in a deep pit at the foot of the gallows. Cromwell’s head was par boiled and tarred and then displayed on a pole outside Westminster hall until 1685.

Jack Shepherd

Tyburn tree
Jack Shepherd

When the famous Jack Shepherd was executed at Tyburn, instead of the public being for the hanging they were against it. Giving support to the villainous character he was.
John (Jack) Shepherd was born in Spitalfields in 1702.

He met a prostitute known as Edgeworth Bess in a Tavern in Drury Lane. She persuaded him to give up his job as a carpenter and become a house burglar. Johnathon Wild who was known at the time for employing crooks to steal for him admired Jack and wanted Jack to be part of his gang but Jack didn’t want anything to do with Wild.

Gaol Breaks

Jack broke into St Giles roundhouse and released Bess after she was thrown in there for stealing a gold ring.
This was one of the first of Jacks Gaol breaks.
He was in Clerkenwell prison when he filed off his leg irons, broke a hole in the wall and escaped by tying his bed sheets together to lower himself down into a yard and scaled a 20 feet wall.
Jack escaped from gaol four times.
On the last occasion after stealing from a pawnbrokers, he was chained to the floor and weighed down. His hands also being cuffed in irons.              All totalling 300 lbs.
The public paid the gaolers to see Jack in the prison as Jacks execution was to be soon at Tyburn.

The crowd cheered him

Instead of dead cats and dung being thrown at the cart on the way to Tyburn flowers were thrown and the crowd cheered him.
Over two hundred thousand people saw Jacks journey to the Tyburn Tree and his death.
He was hung at Tyburn on 16th November 1724.                                         His body was rushed to a Public house in Long Acre were a                                  surgeon was waiting to revive him but it was too late.                               The crowds had thought his body was being taken there for dissection thus prevented the body being taken from Tyburn quickly.
Jack was 23 years old.
Jacks body was buried in the Churchyard of St Martins in the Fields near Strand.

The Demise of the Tyburn Tree gallows.

In order that many people could see the executions and deter people from committing crimes the execution days were classed as public holidays.         Thousands of people would be there selling their goods, getting drunk                                and causing a riot after the execution.                                     This also attracted crimes like pick pocketing and other forms of stealing. This went against the reason for the execution display in the first place.
These riots caused the demise of executions being carried out on the Tyburn Tree.
As a result of this the gallows were demolished in 1783 and executions were carried out in at Newgate instead.

The New Drop

Tyburn Tree
The New Drop. Newgate Gallows

Newgate was where the new set of gallows was built called the New Drop.
It consisted of a platform with two flaps level to the ground,beneath this was a drop of 10 feet, up to 20 people could be hung at one time.The noose was placed around their necks and the flaps would drop away under their feet.

For Further Reading of The Tyburn Tree……..

The Tyburn Convent.

To the west of the Tyburn Tree plaque there is the Tyburn Convent.

Here they honour more than 105 Catholic Martyrs who were executed at           Tyburn during the reformation.

                         The Convent is open for tours to the public.

Tyburn Tree

Tyburn Martyrs…….


Londons Landmarks and Monuments. St Pauls Studios, The Window Cleaner Statue and The Nose. Admiralty Arch.

 Landmarks and Monuments

St Paul’s Studios

Landmarks and Monuments

This page is about Landmarks and Monuments located around London.

St Paul’s  Studios Talgarth Road London W14 are  Grade 11 listed buildings Designed by Frederick Wheeler and were completed in 1891.

They are on the main road from Heathrow Airport to Central London.

The A4, just after the Hammersmith Flyover going east.

They consist of a basement which was used as the House Keepers Flat.

Ground Floor consists of three living rooms and the First floor is the Artists work area with a 20 foot ceiling.

I think they are worth about 2 Million Pounds today.

Please don’t quote me on that because they could be worth more.

Window Cleaner Statue.

Landmarks and MonumentsLandmarks and MonumentsLandmarks and Monuments

Go and find this statue, it’s one of London’s Landmarks and Monuments that you cannot afford to miss when your come to Central London.

Sculptor of a Window Cleaner by Allan Sly 1990. Near Edgware road Station, Chapel Street, London .

I don’t blame him scratching his head. Check out what task he has in front of him.

It’s a fantastic statue. Very life-like.

The Nose.

Admiralty Arch.

Landmarks and Monuments

The Lucky Nose.

Admiralty Arch was built in 1910 as part of the Queen Victoria memorial scheme. It has Three identical arches each with wrought iron gates.

The central arch gate is only opened on ceremonial occasions.

 Enter the arch eastbound towards Trafalgar Square.

 As you pass under the arch look up out of the driver’s side window and you will see the nose on the side of the wall.

The artist Rick Buckley placed it there as part of a campaign against  “The Big Brother Society ” in 1997

It was originally thought that it was placed there to celebrate the Duke of Wellington and was touched by Riders on Horseback for good luck.

 This is one of seven noses to be found in London.

It is said if you find all seven you will be given ultimate wealth

 I plan to find them all and post them on this site.

Which leads us to books for further reading…….

London Landmark. Statues of Queen Victoria, Da Vinci, and Columbus

London Landmark

Queen Victoria statue Queen Square.

Victoria Square is in the area of London called Victoria.

Victoria Square


This London Landmark is a statue of Queen Victoria at the start of her victorious reign. She was Queen from 1837 to 1901 and died at Osborne House East Cowes. Victoria was married to Albert Prince Consort 1840-1861. Queen Square is a Beautiful Square. It was laid out in 1839 and was designed by Matthew Wyatt. Thomas Campbell the Poet lived in number 8. There are seats in the square and its a very secluded place. You can’t believe how quite it is there although you are in central London.

London Landmark London Landmarklondon landmark London Landmark

Belgrave Square.SW1.

The Next London Landmark is Belgrave Square.

Belgrave Square gets its name from Belgrave, a village on the Northern outskirts of Leicester. Belgrave was once a small village where the owners of the land The Grosvenor family had an estate. The Earl of Grosvenor, later became the first Marquess of Westminster obtained an act in parliament to build the square.Thomas Qubitt was the builder. Building started in about 1826. The damp clay was dug from the ground and made into bricks on the site. Then the excavations were filled with soil from St Katherine’s Dock. The houses are mostly Embassy’s and offices now.

Leonardo Da Vinci Statue Belgrave Square.

London Landmark london landmark

Christopher Columbus Statue.

London Landmark

for further reading on London Landmarks…….

Top Sights London. Freddie Mercury Lived Here.

Top Sights in London.


Top Sights in London Top Sights In London Top Sights In LondonTop Sights In London

Freddie Mercury of Queen lived here.

This is one of the Top Sights London

Is this in a secluded part of town ?

Top Sights In LondonTop Sights In LondonTop Sights In LondonTop Sights In London

Top Sights In LondonTop Sights In London

No its in…………………Kensington

Top Sights In London

Top Sights London

Freddie lived here until he died on 24th November 1991.

Garden Lodge 1 Logan Place Kensington W8.

The wall around the door is still a shrine to Freddie.

People still write on the wall and the door and leave notes with messages to Freddie.

Map of 1 Logan Pl, Kensington, London

At the age of 17 Freddie and his family fled from Zanzibar for safety reasons.

They moved to Feltham. Near Heathrow Airport.

top sights London

They lived at 22 Gladstone Avenue Feltham Middlesex.

Map of Gladstone Ave, Feltham TW14 9LJ

He went to Isleworth polytechnic which is now West Thames College where he studied art.

He then went to Ealing Art College and earned a Diploma in Art and Graphic Design.

Sadly Freddie died at Garden Lodge 1 Logan Place Kensington London W8 at the age of 45 of Bronchopneumonia (brought on by AIDS)

Some good books for further reading……………………..

top sight london

Top London Sights. A floating Puppet Theatre Barge

Top London Sights

A floating Puppet Theatre Barge.

            Top London Sights Top London Sights. Puppet Barge

 Top London Sights.

Where is this I hear you ask.

It’s in Little Venice to the west of Warwick Road Opposite 35 Blomfield road Little Venice Paddington. London W9.

 It’s a fantastic Magical experience open to adults and children.

check out this video link which is all about the Puppet Theatre……………

Link for further reading and Puppets

Little Venice.

This is a beautiful area in London .

Named by the Poet Robert Browning and Lord Byron.

It is generally considered that Little Venice is bounded by Maida Avenue, Warwick Crescent and Blomfield Road, the western portal of Maida Hill tunnel, other streets such as Delamere Terrace, and the Grand Union Canal itself in a westward direction towards Lord Hill’s and Harrow Road bridges. This is the area surrounding the Little Venice Lagoon and its canals containing the Regency style white stucco buildings.

You can travel there by boat using the Grand Union Canal.

Hidden Sights in London.The Mall, Nelsons Fleet and the Nose, Admiralty Arch.

Hidden Sights in London.

This is one of the Hidden sights in London.

Nelson’s Fleet.

Hiddn sights in London.Nelsons fleet

This website has more details about Hidden Sights in London. Please check out the other pages.

If you walk along The Mall you will see a Hidden sight in London.

If you look on top of each lamp post down The Mall you will see that each one has a small Galleon Ship known as Nelson’s Fleet.

It is said that each Galleon is different and named after each of Lord Nelson’s Fleet.

Lord Nelson is on his column in Trafalgar Square watching over his fleet.

Did you know they were there ?

The Mall.


The Mall is the stretch of red coloured road from the Queen Victoria Memorial to Admiralty arch.

It is exactly 0.5 miles long and has been  coloured red by using  synthetic iron oxide pigment. This is to give the effect of a long red carpet.

It was created in about 1660, It began as a field for playing Pall-Mall which is a game like Croquet. It had a double row of trees on both sides.

The street called Pall Mall is just to the north of The Mall and runs parallel to it. Pall Mall also ends in Trafalgar Square.

More Hidden Sights in London

The Nose.

Admiralty Arch.

Hiddensights in London. The nose Admiralty Arch

The Lucky Nose.

Admiralty Arch was built in 1910 as part of the Queen Victoria memorial scheme. It has Three identical arches each with wrought iron gates.

The central arch gate is only opened on ceremonial occasions.

 Enter the arch eastbound towards Trafalgar Square.

 As you pass under the arch look up out of the driver’s side window and you will see the nose on the side of the wall.

The artist Rick Buckley placed it there as part of a campaign against  “The Big Brother Society ” in 1997

It was originally thought that it was placed there to celebrate the Duke of Wellington and was touched by Riders on Horseback for good luck.

 This is one of seven noses to be found in London.

It is said if you find all seven you will be given ultimate wealth

 I plan to find them all and post them on this site.

The Malls character was altered in 1903-4 and the route was entirely new and didn’t open until 1911.

Admiralty Arch is to become a Hotel.

More Statues on The Mall

St James Park is on the south side.

Green Park with St James Palace is opposite.

The Royal Marine Statue is on the north side near Admiralty Arch and the Captain Cooke statue is opposite it on the south side.Hidden sights in London. The Royal MarinesHidden sights in London. Capt Cooke

On the south side of The Mall near St James Park is the Royal Artillery Boer War Statue.

.Hidden sights in London

The Duke of York Column is on the north side

Hidden sights in London. Duke of York

On the north side near to the west of The Mall is Marlborough Gate leading to Pall Mall.

Hidden sights in London. The Mall

On the North side there is a relatively new  Memorial and it can be found between the Mall and Carlton Gardens. This is the Memorial of  George V1 and Queen Elizabeth The Queen mother.

On the south side at the east end of The Mall is Horse Guards Road, Leading to Horse Guards Parade and Birdcage Walk.

Finally why not click here for further reading……….

Further articles coming soon…..Buckingham Palace and Admiralty Arch.

Famous Landmarks in London. Big Ben and The Palace of Westminster

 Famous Landmarks in London.

Big Ben

Famous Landmarks in London Big Ben

Of course one of the Famous Landmarks in London is Big Ben but what is Big Ben?

The iconic Big Ben Tower with the clock in it I hear you say.

I am sorry you are wrong……………

It’s the bell in the Tower that’s called Big Ben.

The Tower is the Elizabeth Tower.

Truly one of the Famous Landmarks in London.

The original Westminster Palace started off as Westminster Hall and was added to over the years. It was used as the administrative centre of the kingdom as well as other uses and is now called the Houses of Parliament. The hall was built in 1016 and became the primary residence for kings  of England until it was badly damaged by fire in 1512

It was then used as the Houses of Parliament until it was again badly damaged by fire in 1834.

The remains of the Palace were incorporated into its much larger replacement. It was reconstructed in Gothic style by architect Charles Barry and the French architect, Auguste Pugin.

 The reconstruction took  early 30 years…………A couple of good books regarding the restoration.

another good book

In May 1941 a German bomb fell near Elizabeth Tower bringing tons of masonry down and causing a fire which destroyed the House of Commons and adjoining lobbies.

The reconstruction

In 1945 the House of Commons was rebuilt in the same Gothic style and took five years to complete.

It has over 1100 rooms and is nearly 300 meters long.

There are two Towers, the Jewel Tower which is not connected and the Elizabeth Tower which has the iconic clock face which is known as Big Ben.

The Jewel Tower, built in 1365 as a royal treasure house and used from 1621 as the Parliament Office and as a storage place for the records of the  House of Lords.

The Elizabeth Tower was known as the Clock Tower and previously St Stephens Tower. Its name was changed to Elizabeth Tower in tribute to Queen Elizabeth 11 in her Diamond Jubilee year.

In 1902 when the tower was called St Stephens Tower, people would be incarcerated in a cell in the Tower for causing trouble in the Palace of Westminster. The last of the rioters to be confined there was Emmeline Pankhurst. She was the leader of the Suffragette movement.

Elizabeth Tower  is 315 feet high and is of brickwork and limestone cladding and has a framed spire of cast iron and was finished in 1858

It was built on a 50 ft square concrete raft. 10 ft in depth which is 13 ft  underground.

The Leaning Tower

The Tower was inspected in 1968 and was found to be leaning  9.5 inches to the northwest.

The Tower may be leaning because of the construction of a four story car park under the Palace or because of the construction of the Jubilee line. There have been more unexplained movements and the Tower has tilted   further. There are cracks in the building due to age and probably movement over the years.

Is it going to tilt even further, or even topple over?

Tourists have remarked that they can see it is leaning. If you come and visit London see if you can see that its  leaning.

The Tower is not open to tourists but it has a staircase consisting of 334 steps to the top of the Tower.

Big Ben is the name of the bell but the Clock and Tower are known as Big Ben by the public.

Memorabilia of Big Ben…….

There are two theories surrounding the naming of the bell Big Ben.

The first is after Sir Benjamin Hall, the Chief commissioner of works when the bell was to be manufactured.

The second theory is after a boxer Benjamin Caunt who weighed 18 stone and fought a fight for 60 rounds in 1857.

Famous Landmarks In London

This brings us to this fantastic video of The Palace of Westminster regarding the restoration of the building.

And this other great video

Related items

And i’m sure you haven’t forgotten that Westminster Palace is also the Famous Landmark in London where Guy Fawkes a Roman Catholic convert and his conspirators were caught on 5th November 1605 in a plot to blow up King James 1 , his ministers and the members of parliament.

There’s a statue of Richard the Lion Heart in Old Palace Yard outside the Houses of Parliament in the House of Lords car park.

Richard 1 reigned between 1189-1199.

You can find this statue of Richard the Lion Heart in Old Palace Yard.  Erected in 1860.

For further reading on Richard the lion Heart………………….

For further reading on The Palace of Westminster……………………..

And finally check out the other pages on this site to find more Famous Landmarks in London.