"Tower of London" Tower of London Tip by unexplored

Tower of London, London: 523 reviews and 935 photos


The Tower is chiefly famous for two reasons; it has a long and bloody history and it is the repository of the British Crown Jewels. In fact only seven famous heads have been parted from their bodies in the castle confines, though over 300 poor souls were executed in the public arena of Tower Hill just outside the Tower. Henry VIII's second and fifth wives, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, and Lady Jane Grey, who was proclaimed Queen of England in 1553 but deposed after nine days, were all executed inside the Tower, while Sir Thomas More and Sir Walter Ralegh were imprisoned here before their final journeys. Prisoners were brought in and out of the Traitor's Gate, still visible from the embankment. Many dark deeds have been committed in the tower(the 'Little Princes', Edward V and his brother Richard, were both murdered in the Bloody Tower, possibly by their uncle, Richard III, in 1483), but the pace of execution really stepped up under Henry VIII. The site of the block was raised in 1870 to reveal a pile of beheaded skeletons, including Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. Of course the Tower was not just a place for execution: it also served as a royal palace. William the Conqueror began its construction in 1078, building the central keep, known as the White Tower. Later Henry II kept his menagerie here, including three leopards given to him by the Holy Roman Emperor and a polar bear. Most of the world-famous Crown Jewels, which are kept in the Jewel House, date from the period after 1660 as earlier regalia were melted down after Charles I's execution in 1649.

Address: St Katharine's & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB
Directions: Nearest Tube, Tower Hill. At Tower Hill.
Phone: +44 844 482 7777
Website: http://www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london/#gs._Azeo84

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 28, 2003
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