The Tower of London

Tower of London
 

The History of the Tower of London
The History of the Tower of London encompasses the story of the magnificent castle. And the lives of the men and the women who were killed and imprisoned in this great fortress. The legends and myths surrounding this great London castle including the legend of the Ravens. The History of the Tower of London spans across more than one thousand years and the reigns of countless Kings and Queens.

A unique fully comprehensive Timeline has been developed to guide you through the key events of the Tower of London and its bloody history.

The Prisoners in the Tower of London

 
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The Tower of London is admired for its architecture and its history but it is most remembered for the bloody executions, imprisonment and torture of the prisoners who were incarcerated in the great London castle.

The Tower of London
The mysterious deaths, like those of the two little Princes in the Tower and the tragic story of the execution of the pathetically young Lady Jane Grey. The execution of Queens of England - Catherine Howard and Anne Boleyn. The torture of various prisoners including the racking of Anne Askew, the interrogation of State prisoners such as Guy Fawkes. The executions of men of peace like John Fisher Bishop of Rochester and Sir Thomas More. This history is detailed in the Executions & Beheading at the Tower of London. The infamous dungeon called the 'Little Ease'. And the instruments of torture. The Tower of London was built to overawe and frighten the indigenous population - it succeeded. The names of some of the famous  Prisoners and their stories are detailed in this section which even include how they were taken to the Tower of London via Traitor's Gate.

The Tower of London
The Tower of London is the most famous of all the Medieval English castles. Its bloody history encompasses some of the most important events in English history. The fortress is strongly associated with William the Conqueror who invaded England in 1066. William the Conqueror initially built a wooden Motte and Bailey castle and the famous, fortified, stone White Tower, which replaced the original Motte and Bailey castle, was completed in 1097.

The Purpose & Function of the Tower of London
The original functions were to:

  • To act as a royal power base in the City of London
  • To provide a base where armed men, provisions and horses could be housed
  • To overawe and frighten the indigenous population of London
  • To provide a retreat for the Royal family in times of civil disorder
  • To protect London from invasion - an invasion by the Vikings penetrated the Thames as far as Reading in 870AD

The Tower of London was therefore first built as a fortress with a central Keep, the first of its towers was called the "White Tower." The Tower of London assumed its form as a 'Concentric Castle' with successive lines of fortification, only after hundreds of years and several different reigns. There are 21 different towers which form a major part of the London castle complex. The expansion of the Tower of London, covering 18 acres, led to additional functions as:

  • A Royal residence in London
  • A Prison housing some very important state prisoners
  • A place of trials, execution and torture

The Design and Structure of the Tower of London
The design and structure of the great London fortress started with William the Conqueror as a timber Motte and Bailey castle. Construction of the stone tower keep started in 1078 and was completed in 1097. The Tower of London assumed its form as a 'Concentric Castle' with successive lines of fortification, only after hundreds of years and several different reigns. There are 21 different towers which form a major part of the London castle complex. These famous buildings are fully detailed in the section The Towers in the London fortress which include the White Tower and the Bloody Tower.

The design and structure of the Tower of London also include the Chapel of St John. Other elements which make up the massive castle complex include:

  • Traitor's Gate - How State Prisoners entered the great London fortress
  • Chapel of St Peter Ad Vincula
  • Waterloo Barracks - now called the Waterloo Block which houses the Jewel House
  • The Chapel of St John the Evangelist  - situated in the White Tower
  • The Ravens Lodgings - The Legend of the Ravens
  • The New London Armouries built as a storehouse for small arms
  • Royal Fusiliers Museum
  • The Queen's House - Built by Henry VIII and called the Lieutenant's Lodgings. Officially the Monarch's accommodation - the name changes dependent on whether a King or Queen rules

The Towers
The Tower of London assumed its form as a 'Concentric Castle' with successive lines of fortification, only after hundreds of years and several different reigns. There are 21 different towers which form a major part of the great London castle complex. The names of the different Towers are as follows just click the following links for interesting facts and information about each of the Towers.

The White Tower
The Bloody Tower
Beauchamp Tower
Bell Tower
Bowyer Tower
Brick Tower
Broad Arrow Tower
Byward Tower
Constable Tower
Cradle Tower
Develin Tower
Deveraux Tower
Flint Tower
Lanthorn Tower
Martin Tower
Middle Tower
St Thomas's Tower
Salt Tower
Wakefield Tower
Wardrobe Tower
Well Tower

The Tower of London
So started the strategy of the Normans to build castles as their source of power in England. They initiated a programme of constructing more castles were gradually improved and the great fortresses of Medieval England - the great Norman Medieval stone Castles were built.

Tower of London Timeline
History of the Tower of London
Tower of London Prisoners
Executions & Beheading at the Tower of London
Traitors Gate
Ravens in the Tower of London
Princes in the Tower
Chapel of St John
Crown Jewels
Tower of London Ghosts

The guards at the castle are called Yeoman Warders or Beefeaters. The name Beefeaters is thought to come from the French word - buffetier. Buffetiers were guards in the palace of French kings. They protected the king's food.

The Tower of London

The Tower of London

  • The History of The Tower of London
  • Information & Facts
  • The Design, Layout and Architecture  - the different Towers
  • The London fortress Timeline
  • The London castle Prisoners
  • The Executions and Beheading of men and women
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