Tower of London

Tower of London. By Elizabeth Lutgendorff

Tower of London. By Elizabeth Lutgendorff

Her Majesty’s Royal Fortress and Tower or the Tower of London as it is most commonly known, is a dominating and impressive castle in the heart of London.  With a long history, it has held many prisoners including Charles Bradlaugh.

Bradlaugh’s request to affirm the MP’s oath was rejected by Parliament and he was  sent to the tower 1880 when he tried to take his seat.

After the defeat of Harold at the Battle of Hastings, William I began is subjugation of the largest city: London.  Near the remaining roman ruins, the White Tower was first begun in the 1070s.  Continued construction, with more towers and the curtain walls would proceed through to the thirteenth century.

The Tower has held many famous prisoners within its walls: Edward I, Anne Boleyn, Thomas More, Sir Walter Raleigh the future Queen Elizabeth I, Lady Jane Grey, Guy Fawkes and the Kray Twins (the last prisoners at the Tower).

It also holds some of the mortal remains of those executed at the Tower in the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincular.

One of the longest and unbroken ceremonies in the UK, if not the world, is the Ceremony of the Keys.  The ceremony makes sure that the palace is safe and secure every evening.  It continued throughout the Blitz, although it was sometimes delayed due to bombardment.

Graffiti from the Tower of London

Graffiti from the Tower of London

Today the Tower is one of the historic royal palaces and can be visited by the general public.  The historical graffiti of those held in the tower of prisoners can still be viewed.  As well, the Crown Jewels are held in the Jewel Tower.

Visiting

The Tower is open to the public every day, times vary depending on the time of year.  The nearest tube station is Tower Hill but there are also many bus routes and the Thames Clipper.

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