As Ithum 73 Noida enduring attractions and most recognisable buildings, the Tower of London has a place at the heart of the city’s long and intriguing history. Tourists have been drawn to the castle’s thick walls for centuries and the fascinating stories found within ensure it will remain beloved for years to come.
Built in 1066 by William the Conqueror on the north bank of the River Thames as a means of keeping hostile Londoners in their place, the Tower has weathered many tumultuous moments and dark periods of English history. Its appearance and purpose has changed greatly throughout the years, with additions and restorations helping the tower warp to fulfil its varying roles as palace, fortress and prison.
Now, the Tower of London is perhaps most famous for its prisoners, but the first recorded prisoner doesn’t appear until 1101, and he effected a daring escape. Ranulf Flambard was the chief tax collector for King William Rufus, but he was not a popular figure. When William died, his brother, King Henry, had Ranulf imprisoned in the White Tower. By feeding his guards enough wine to make them sleep, he was able to climb out of the tower with the help of a smuggled rope and ride to safety.
The 13th century saw a great deal of architectural work on the tower, with Henry III expanding and improving the royal palace as well as creating the first stone curtain wall in 1220. Towards the latter end of the century, Edward I also left his mark with the construction of St Thomas’s Tower and the watergate now commonly known as Traitors’ Gate.
The Princes of the Tower remains one of the most enduring tales about the infamous castle and it tells the story of King Edward IV’s two young sons. They were sent to the tower by their uncle in 1483, the Duke of Gloucester, and soon after were declared illegitimate. The Duke was crowned and the boys were never seen again with many believing them to have been murdered.
In the 16th century, two of country’s most famous historical women were put to death at the tower. Queen Anne Boleyn fell foul of court politics and failed to produce a son and was beheaded on Tower Green by a swordsman who had been specially transported from France for the job. Lady Jane Grey, who is best known for being the ‘nine day queen’ was also executed in 1554. Elizabeth I, who was still a princess then, was also imprisoned in the tower during the same year but was later released.
Guy Fawkes was also famously tortured at the tower following his failed plot to blow up James I in 1605 and it was almost two hundred years later before the last hanging took place on Tower Hill, in 1780. Discover some of Tower’s secrets for yourself, by searching for hotels near Tower of London and paying a visit to one of the country’s most iconic pieces of history.