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Answer 31. Oliver Cromwell’s body was exhumed from Westminster Abbey in 1661 and hanged on the gallows at Tyburn.

Cromwell’s body was then reburied in an unmarked grave among common criminals, where Marble Arch now stands. His head was stuck on a pole and displayed above the southern end of Westminster Hall.


Cromwell's head (sized)

Cromwell’s head remained on the roof of Westminster Hall until 1688, when it blew down during a storm. A startled sentry picked it up and kept it hidden in his chimney until 1702.

The head changed hands several times over the next two and  a half centuries, sometimes as a curiosity, sometimes as security for a loan, until it found its current resting place in 1960.

HISTORIC LONDON: X MARKS THE SPOT. Question 32. Where is Oliver Cromwell’s head now?

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