Court jester: Seriously, a comedian lives in the Tower of London

·2-min read

Throughout history, the Tower of London has been one of the UK's most fascinating and versatile landmarks - variously a notorious prison, a menagerie, a palace, the home of the Royal Mint and the resting place of the Crown Jewels. 

Nevertheless, you could be forgiven for assuming that, nowadays, nobody lives there apart from the tower's iconic ravens - but you'd be wrong. 

Around 130 people still live inside the tower compound. The population does, as you might have guessed, include Beefeaters - but it also includes the comedian Tom Houghton, who has been lifting the lid on what it's like to live in one of the UK's top tourist attractions to his 142,000 TikTok followers. 

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"It’s like a little village,” he told The Times. “There’s all the Beefeaters and their families, the governor, a doctor and a chaplain.”

So could any of us get a foot inside the (presumably very thick and ancient) door of The Tower? Unfortunately not, unless you have the right connections. Houghton, 36, lives with his parents. 

His father, Lord Houghton of Richmond, is currently seeing through a five-year post as Constable of the Tower of London - a post which comes with a pretty impressive official residence in the form of The Queen’s House, a three-bedroom Tudor property facing Tower Green.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 30: Tom Houghton performs during Hullabaloo Comedy Festival 2021 at Alexandra Palace on May 30, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Comedian Tom Houghton is lucky enough to live inside the Tower of London (Getty Images)

Houghton likes to amuse his social media followers with photos and clips of his unique lifestyle, which includes evening walks around the battlements - but the comedian is obviously not worried about a little light haunting. 

Lady Arabella Stuart, a niece of Mary Queen of Scots who was held prisoner over four hundred years ago, died in his modern-day bedroom.

What's more, just outside his front door is the very place where Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, was beheaded. 

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“You realise you are living in history and as such you have to pay it its respects," he told The Times. "I’m immensely privileged to have the chance to live here.”

Luckily, Houghton is in no danger of being clapped in irons - or worse - in 2021. Nevertheless, living in digs with a drawbridge does come with some major draw...backs, particularly when ordering a takeaway. 

"When you say your address," he said, "They just don’t believe you.”

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