Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The Tower of London

For over 900 years The Tower of London has been one of the most familiar and iconic attractions in London. Originally a wooden palisade built in 1066 by William the Conqueror, the familiar stone central keep, The White Tower, was built somewhere around 1078 and came to symbolise the oppression of the native Anglo-Saxons by the despised Norman elite.



The Tower of London, or to give it its formal title: Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, has undergone a few makeovers in its time with rings of defensive walls built. Henry III ordered it whitewashed, probably for cosmetic reasons or to protect the stone from weathering. He also extended the fortifications as he was having a slight disagreement with the Barons at the time.

Over the centuries it has had many functions, not just as a royal residence. It has been an armoury, a treasury, the Royal Mint, a public records office, a prison and even a zoo. Now it houses The Crown Jewels in one of the world’s most secure vaults.
There are probably more stories attached to the Tower of London than there are stones in its walls. If you take a guided tour by one of the Beefeaters or, as they are properly known, Yeoman Warder you will be regaled with tales of intrigue, betrayal, treachery and murder. It isn’t called The Bloody Tower for nothing!

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