Why would anyone want to visit The Tower of London? Well I’ll tell you why….coz it’s the best darn place to enjoy a few hours of strolling around and learning about the fascinating history behind this extraordinary structure.
The feelings of awe as you walk through an arch that has seen Kings and Queens and significant figures that have helped shape this country,
The amazement that places like this were built at all at a time we call the ‘Dark Ages’ ….dark?? Not a chance.
The sense of sadness that exists even today in the place where so many people lost their lives
I could list a hundred reasons you should visit…..but I will leave it to you to experience this marvellous place; and marvel at the history that lies behind The Tower of London.
The Tower of London:
Tower of London dateline
1080s Work on the White Tower is under way
1101 Ranulf Flambard, the first known prisoner at the Tower, makes a daring escape
1155 Thomas Becket, keeper of the works at the Tower, carries out repairs
1220s Henry III starts a major expansion of the royal palace
1251 A polar bear joins the Tower menagerie
1263 Henry III surrenders the Tower to Simon de Montfort
1275-79 Edward I builds St Thomas’s Tower and the watergate now known as Traitors’ Gate
1360 John II ‘the Good’ of France lives in great splendour as a prisoner
1381 Simon of Sudbury, Archbishop of Canterbury, is dragged out of the Tower and murdered on Tower Hill during the Peasants’ Revolt
1389 Geoffrey Chaucer, clerk of works, oversees completion of Tower Wharf. Chaucer is better known for having written The Canterbury Tales.
1483 The ‘Princes in the Tower’ disappear, presumed murdered.
1536 Queen Anne Boleyn is beheaded at Tower Green.
1554 Lady Jane Grey, the ‘nine days queen’, is executed. Princess Elizabeth, later Elizabeth I, is imprisoned in the Tower.
1605 Guy Fawkes is tortured at the Tower following the failed Gunpowder Plot to assassinate James I and blow up Parliament.
1671 Colonel Blood attempts to steal the Crown Jewels.
1780 The last hangings take place on Tower Hill.
1826 Duke of Wellington becomes Constable of the Tower and appoints Yeoman Warders based on their exemplary military service.
1835 Tower Menagerie closes. The animals are transferred to the new London Zoo.
1841 Crown Jewels are saved from fire.
1850 Koh-i-noor diamond is presented to Queen Victoria.
1952 East end London gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray are held at the Tower.
Today, or any day is worth a visit. Of course a not to be missed are the Crown Jewels…..splendour like you could not imagine! Items of Royal Regalia have been kept at the Tower since the 14th Century. St Edward’s Crown was made in 1660 for King Charles II and it is this crown that is now used for the moment of coronation. It weighs over 2 kilograms and several Monarchs have found it too heavy to wear.
Legend has it that if the Ravens leave the Tower….the Tower will fall and the Kingdom with it!!! So they have a whole contingent of folk to look after them
Nearest tube station – Tower Hill : District and Circle Lines