Ranulf Flambard: Imprisoned in his own Tower

One of the people that was really important to the Tower of London was Ranulf Flambard, a Bishop from Normandy who was a trusted advisor to William 1 and King William Rufus. He lived from 1060 to 1128.

He helped create the Doomsday book and took care of many affairs for the monarch.

His special skill was in raising money for the King. He destroyed churches and got rid of Bishops, took payments from landowners and the church and even out of the pockets of soldiers who thought they were going to war.

He was responsible for the building of the White Tower, which fortified the original structure on the site of the Tower of London. 

He also was responsible for the building of Durham Cathedral and Westminster Hall, and London’s very first stone bridge.

He had a flamboyant personality – was charismatic and popular, although probably quite “marmite” – as the monarch changed opinion changed too. 

The new King, Henry 1st declared him to have obtained the money raised by criminal means and by extortion – that’s threatening people.  

He was the first prisoner of the Tower although he didn’t stay for long – he arranged for a barrel of wine to be sent with a rope inside, with which he made his escape, after one year.

He travelled to France and lived to a comparatively old age, with his large family.

Locked Up In The Tower is supported by Historic Royal Palaces