Tower of London Part One
The Tower of London was another place I was really looking forward to seeing in the stone, so to speak. Despite the name, the Tower is made up of a number of different small towers that were built at different periods of time, making it into a structure that evolved over the following 1000 years.
|The West side of the Tower from what is now the main enterance. The green is the former moat. This wall dates to the reign of Edward I (1272-1307)|
First was the White Tower, built over the a former Roman outpost and started during the reign of William the Conqueror. The exact starting or completion dates are unknown, but work was underway during the 1070's. It originally served as a royal residence, though as other monarchs added features on, it became more of a fortress, and, eventually, a prison, which is how it is most commonly depicted in pop culture.
The Tower is the place where the sons of Edward IV (aka, the Princes in the Tower) disappeared, Anne Boelyn was imprisoned and executed, and Princess Elizabeth was briefly imprisoned before being released by her sister, Queen Mary I. The last time it was used as a prison was during World War II, when Rudolf Hess was breifly held there.
Now, it mainly serves as a major tourist attraction, though even that's been going on for around 600 years.
|Back left - the Waterloo Barracks. Back right - the White Tower. Near right - the remnants of the Wall of the Inmost Ward (Henry III - 1216-72)|
First off, taking the advice of a number of guidebooks, we headed to the Crown Jewels. Alas, but no pictures were allowed.
|Sentry at the Jewel House|
|The White Tower from the exit of the Jewels.|
Next up, the White Tower!