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Tower Of London

Gargoyle at the Tower of London

Gargoyle at the Tower of London

When it comes to historical places in England, the Tower of London is hard to miss. Located in the East Side of the City of London along the north bank of the River Tames, this tower was built as a fortress to protect the royal family. The Tower of London’s original structure called The White Tower was built sometime in 1078 under the orders of then William the Conqueror. Gundulf, Bishop of Rochester was commissioned to build the original structure, which was really quite simple but very secure. It was then surrounded by a dry moat which made it difficult for people to get inside the fortress.

The White Tower, which is located in the Inner Ward, is surrounded by massive curtain wall which includes thirteen guard towers. The thirteen towers surround the White Tower are the Bell Tower, the Bloody Tower, the Beauchamp Tower, the Flint Tower, The Martin Tower, The Deveraux Tower, The Brick Tower, the Flint Bowyer Tower, the Salt Tower, The constable Tower, The Broad Arrow Tower, the Wakefield Tower and the Lanthorn Tower.

The Bloody Tower used to be the Garden Tower but after the Princess was supposedly murdered in this tower, people came to call this place the Bloody Tower. Legends have it that the spirit of the murdered princess still roams around the tower during the night. Of course there is no scientific proof that the spirit of the princess indeed lurks in this tower but the romance and the mystery behind the death of the unknown princess make this particular tower more popular than the others.

Early History

In its earlier years, the Tower of London became a prison for important enemies of the king and the queen. Some of the famous inmates of the Tower of London were Sir Thomas More, Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey, Sir Water Raleigh and Queen Elizabeth I herself when she was still a princess.

Traitor's Gate at the Tower of London

Traitor's Gate at the Tower of London

According to historians, the Tower of London served as a place for torture and execution at that time that people feared being sent to the tower. For the people of England in that era, being sent to The Tower means bad news. Not many people return after being sent to the Tower.

As the years passed, the reputation of the Tower of London became less menacing to the people. Eventually, it became less of a place of torture and sufferings. Around 1303, this place became the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, and is still there to this day.

Visiting

The Tower of London is easily accessible to the public. If you want to see the place on foot, take the tube from the Tower hill. Use the district or the circle lines to get to the tower. You may also take the train to go to the Tower of London. The nearest train stations to the tower are the station at the London Bridge and the located at Fenchurch Street.

If you take the train from Fenchurch Street, take the exit on Mark Lane then take go left towards Byward Street. Byward Street leads directly to the Tower of London. On the other hand, if you decide to take the train from London Bridge cross the bridge and then turn right to get to the Lower Thames Street. The Tower of London is only about 15 minutes-walk from the Lower Thames Street.

Don’t worry, there are signs all over the place giving your directions to the tower so unless you ignore the signs, you will certainly be able to find your way to the tower.  Just follow the many crowds of tourists!

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