The Tower of London
The Tower of London is a historic fortress located in the heart of London, England. It is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks and attracts millions of visitors each year. The Tower has served many purposes throughout its history, from a royal residence to a prison and even as a place of execution. Today, it is home to the Crown Jewels of England and is a popular tourist attraction.
Historical Background of the Tower of London
The Tower of London was founded in 1066 by William the Conqueror. It was originally built as a fortress to protect London from invaders and was later used as a royal palace. Over the centuries, the Tower has been expanded and transformed, with additional buildings added and numerous changes made to its function and appearance. In the 16th and 17th centuries, it became a notorious prison, with many high-profile prisoners, including Anne Boleyn and Guy Fawkes, held within its walls. Today, the Tower of London is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of London’s most popular tourist destinations.
The Location of the Tower of London
The Tower of London is located in the City of London, on the north bank of the River Thames. Its exact location is on Tower Hill, in the southeastern corner of the City, close to the Tower Bridge. The Tower is situated within easy reach of many of London’s other main attractions, including the Shard, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the British Museum.
The Tower of London’s Physical Characteristics
The Tower of London is a sprawling complex of buildings, surrounded by a moat and high walls. It covers an area of approximately 18 acres and is made up of several different buildings and structures, including the White Tower, the Jewel House, and the Bloody Tower. The Tower’s walls are up to 15 feet thick and the complex contains over 20 towers.
Different Parts of the Tower of London
The Tower of London is divided into several different parts, each with its own unique history and significance. These include the White Tower, the Jewel House, the Bloody Tower, and the Tower Green.
The White Tower: The Oldest Part of the Tower of London
The White Tower is the oldest and most iconic part of the Tower of London. It was built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror and was originally used as a royal palace. Today, it houses a museum, displaying a range of historic artefacts, including armour and weapons.
The Jewel House: Home of the Crown Jewels
The Jewel House is home to the Crown Jewels of England, including the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign’s Sceptre. Visitors can take a tour of the Jewel House and see the priceless treasures up close.
The Bloody Tower: Site of Traitorous Acts
The Bloody Tower is one of the most infamous parts of the Tower of London. It is said to be the site where the young princes, Edward V and Richard of York, were in the 15th century. It was also used as a prison and place of torture.
The Tower Green: The Execution Site
The Tower Green is the site where many prisoners, including prominent figures such as Anne Boleyn and Sir Walter Raleigh, were executed. Today, visitors can take a tour of the Tower Green and learn about its dark history.
How to Get to the Tower of London
The Tower of London is easily accessible by public transport. The nearest tube station is Tower Hill, which is served by the District and Circle lines. There are also several bus routes that stop near the Tower, and the Tower Gateway DLR station is just a short walk away.
Conclusion: The Tower of London’s Significance
The Tower of London is a hugely significant part of London’s history and culture. It has played a key role in many important events throughout English history and remains an iconic symbol of the city to this day. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture or just looking for a great day out, the Tower of London is a must-visit destination.
References: Sources for Further Information
- Historic Royal Palaces: Tower of London –
- Visit London: Tower of London – https://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/place/501055-tower-of-london
- UNESCO World Heritage Centre: Tower of London – https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/488/