The Tower of London is one of the most well-known attractions in London, It houses the Crown Jewels and has been a part of numerous significant events in British History, tourists all around the world eager to see and learn more about the tower, Its myths and Legends. through the years the Tower of London became interchangeable as a national symbol of power and royalty. Tower of London is officially named Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London.
The Tower was founded towards the end of 1066, as part of the Norman Conquest of England. Stunning White Tower was built by William the Conqueror in 1078, the castle was used as a prison and royalty living premises. The Tower is a complex of different building that has two concentric rights of defensive walls and a moat. it situated in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, the area is known as the Tower Hill.
The Brief History of the Tower of London
William the Conqueror and the Normans Invaded England in September 1066 and built a castle out of Timber, known as the Bailey castle, which was built on the same location as the Current Tower of London and In 1078 William the Conqueror replaced the old timber tower with a stone fortified tower, which was called the Great Tower however it was later renamed the White Tower and was constructed in 1097.
The Tower of London was used as a Prison and in 1100, the first recorded state prisoner was imprisoned in the tower of London, and in 1191 the Tower saw its very first siege, when Prince John opposed the powerful Bishop Longchamp and sieged the tower of London and only after three days, the siege came to an end and Bishop Longchamp Surrendered.
In 1210 King John moved into the Tower and between 1216 and 1272 additional defenses were added to the tower of London as King Henry the 3rd took up the crown as the new king, he went on to reinforce the royal castles, which included the Tower of London, number of expansions happened such as the Royal Accommodations in the White Tower and rebuilt the Hall and the Kitchens, In 1236 ten new towers and gateways as well as drawbridges were added to increase further defences however after the death of the KingHenry III , King Edward the first continued to build the castle adding new towers and the Crown Jewels were moved from Westminster Abbey to the Tower.
During the 1400’s England entered the period of civil disorder and political instability which started the Wars of the Roses and In 1483 Richard the 3rd seized the throne and during the battle of Lancastrian rebellion rose against the Yorkist Richard and he fell in battle of Bosworth Field to Henry Tudor in 1485, later Henry VII ended the battle between the Yorkists and Lancastrians by marrying the Yorkist heir, known as Elizabeth of York, later Henry VII built the last permanent royal residential buildings at the Tower of London.
In 1512 King Henry VIII married Katherine of Aragon, in the original chapel of St Peter Ad Vincula was burned down and rebuilt, The roof of the White Tower needed to be strengthened due to the weight of the Cannons, The White Tower’s famous features are the onion-shaped domes on the turrets which were added with weather vanes. In 1533 King Henry divorced his wife Katherine and broke off with the Church in Rome and the tower had expanded its prison for a large number of religious and political prisoners. King Henry VIII executed Sir Thomas Moore and Bishop Fisher of Rochester because they refused to acknowledge him as the head of the English Church. After the death of Henry VIII in 1547, his young son, Edward V takes the throne later his protector, the Duke of Somerset and his confederates met their deaths at the tower and later Edward dies of tuberculosis, leaving the throne to the lady Jane and her heirs male, however after Lady Jane Grey becomes Queen, for only nine days. Bloody Mary takes the throne.
In 1625 Charles the first takes the throne but a civil war broke out between the King and Parliament, In 1643 the Tower of London was seized from the King, and taken by Parliamentarians, throughout the civil war which lasted 7 years the parliament had control of the tower, in that time they built a permanent garrison. Major improvements to the Tower’s defenses were made and batteries of guns were set in place along the walls and the arsenal was expanded.
The Monarchy no longer used the Tower as State apartments so showed little interest in the castle but in 1780 the Tower held its only American prisoner, former President of the Continental Congress, Henry Laurens.
The Royal Menagerie left the Lion Tower in 1834 to become the London Zoo. Lion Tower has mostly demolished however the Lion Gate still remains, however, the Grand Storehouse burned down during the great fire, many of weapons were destroyed. Anthony Salvin, a Victorian architect, was appointed in 1851 to ‘restore’ the Tower to a pseudo-medieval form so it could be opened to the public.
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How to get there
- By Car and Parking: Tower Hill is a vehicle free zone and there is no on-site parking facility.
- By Train: The Closest Train Station is the Tower Hill and the Circle Lines, which are only 5 minutes walk away.
- By Bicycle: you can find a Bicycle rack near the Perkin Reveller Restaurant on the Wharf.
|Monday||10:00 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Tuesday||9:00 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Wednesday||9:00 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Thursday||9:00 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Friday||9:00 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Saturday||9:00 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Sunday||10:00 AM – 4:30 PM|
Note: During the holidays the opening hours may vary, please check the official website.
|Under 5 Years old||Free Entry|
|Family 1 One Adult, 3 Children||£38.30|
|Family 2 Two Adults, 3 Children||£53.20|
Please note that the prices may change after 28th of February 2018.
Address: St Katharine’s & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB