The Tower of London is infamous and at the top of every London visitor’s list! The Tower was originally built by William the Conqueror as a symbol of his domination, and has been used as a royal residence, a prison, an armoury, and a treasury, among other things, throughout the centuries. Given my huge of love of the British/English Royal Family, I knew I haaaaad to go see the Tower of London.
Something that surprised me is just how much it dominates the landscape, even in the twenty first century. Walking up to it, you can really understand how it is a symbol of royal power!
One of my favourite architectural aspects of the Tower is the timber framing from the Elizabethan era- probably because I largely associate the Tower with Henry VIII and Elizabeth I’s prisoners!
There are six resident ravens at the Tower, and there is a prophecy that if the ravens leave to Tower, it will fall. (They actually, do in fact, leave!) They were pretty relaxed with all of the people around- I was impressed!
The White Tower is the iconic tower, and is currently a display of armour and weapons. Not going to lie, I wasn’t that interested. The Chapel of St. John within is quite small and peaceful, though.
The Chapel of St. Peter Ad Vincula is the site of the remains of Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, Jane Grey, Sir Thomas More, and John Fisher- five big names from the Tudor period! Interestingly the headless bodies were found under the nave and chancel without any markings in the 19th century. If you have the chance, certainly take a few moments to spend some time here.
This unique memorial is a testament to those “sent to the Tower” by Henry VIII.
If you want to see the Crown Jewels, this is where you do it!! You stand on this interesting moving sidewalk- to prevent people from standing in front and blocking it- and move through the Jewels. Fun to see? When a tourist takes out a camera when there are a million signs in countless languages telling you there are no pictures allowed. The security really hop to!
This is Traitor’s Gate- it’s the gate where traitor’s were brought in. They have super creative naming conventions….
Also, throughout the Tower, they have different animals like this elephant- the Tower was a royal menagerie for centuries. The price was a few shillings, or a small animal for the resident animals to eat! I thought it was a cool and artistic way to work that aspect of the history in.
Have you been to the Tower of London? What is your favourite part?