Most cities have a place that displays their history in a remarkable fashion. The Tower of London, a castle located in London alongside the River Thames, is one such remarkable landmark and is the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Site.
The Tower holds immense importance in English History. Conquering it was deemed tantamount to controlling the whole country. Its rich and horrifying history attracts people’s attention and has made it an iconic place.
Why is the Tower of London so famous?
Royal Families Home
The Tower of London has a long history of 900 years. It was built by Norman invader William the Conqueror in the year 1066 A.D to subdue the inhabitants of London. It has served many functions throughout its history, from ordinary to more specific ones.
Early on, it was used by Royal families as a safe house in times of war and rebellion. However, the Tower started to be used for special roles. Famously, it was used as a prison where inmates were subjected to inhumane tortures, especially during the 16th and 17th centuries. It ceased its operation as a prison in the late 1940s.
The Haunted Tower
Many people believe that the Tower is haunted, as it has been a place where people were subjected to brutality. Queens were beheaded in the Tower. The legends about the place have created a strange aura around the Tower, adding to its infamy.
What was the Tower of London Tower built for?
As a part of the Norman Conquest, William the Conqueror invaded London in 1066 A.D. He was successful in his conquest and established his rule over London.
After conquering London in 1066, Norman Invader William the Conqueror was loathed by the native population.
Afraid of rebellion, he began to build a massive stone fortress in London. He not only wanted to protect himself from the angry population but also to symbolize his consolidation of power over London.
At first, the Tower was intended to be used as a defensedefence. Hell-bent on extending his rule, William wanted to consolidate his position as the mighty ruler of London and was willing to remove any impediments in his path.
Afterward, the Tower was used for different purposes. It became a place where the queens were beheaded, critics of the ruling elite imprisoned, and political prisoners executed.
Brief History of the Tower of London
The Tower of London was initially built as a fortress by William the Conqueror to solidify his rule. It underwent many changes and alterations ever since.
The Royal Zoo
The Town was used for multiple purposes throughout its history. In 1204, King John established a royal menagerie in the Tower.
In the 13th century, the Tower began to be used as a place for the production of coins, a royal mint. The production was made in the Tower until the 18th century.
Along with it, the Tower was used as a government office to hold records. It continued its function as a record-holding office for centuries.
Moreover, the Tower has always been a place that signifies the establishment of power. Therefore, it attracted many invaders, trying their hand to rule the empire.
The Prison Tower
Infamously, the Tower was used as a prison as many famous personalities of the time were imprisoned and murdered there.
Does anyone live in the Tower of London Today?
Only those people who have a history of serving for at least 22 years of active service in the British military live in the Tower today. Currently, 37 Yeoman Warders, nicknamed ‘Beefeaters’, live there.
Also, the presence of Tower Ravens, as the legend goes, protects the town, and their departure of them would signify the fall of the Kingdom. There are people who make sure that the Town Ravens do not leave the Tower.
What is the Tower of London used for Today?
The Tower of London is home to the Yeomen Warders (Beefeaters), the Resident of Governor, and a garrison of soldiers.
Today, the Tower of London is among the top tourist attraction. It attracts over three million visitors a year because of its history and strange legends.
Also, the Tower contains Crown Jewels and gemstones. Visitors today can see them in the Jewel House inside the Waterloo Barracks.
Interesting Facts about the Tower of London
- The history of the Tower is filled with intrigue and horror. Following are some interesting facts bout the Tower of London.
- The Tower of London is not the complete official name of the Tower. Its complete official name is ‘Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress, The Tower of London’.
- Infamously known for the tortures the prisoners went through, The Tower of London was never deemed to be used as a prisoner. It became to be used as one for people who challenged the rulers of the time. These people went through some horrible punishments which still ingrains fear in people.
- The ceremony of locking the gates of the Tower is a historic tradition, taking place every day in London for over 700 years.
- There are legends about the Tower that it is very haunted. Arbella Stuart starved to death and is said to still haunt the Tower. Anne Boleyn, executed in 1536 in the Tower, was reported to appear near her site of execution.
- Once used as a place for execution, the Tower had its last execution on August 14, 1941, when a German spy Josef Kabos was shot.
- Shockingly, the keys to the Tower were stolen in 2012. However, because the keys only opened the lock of specific places in the Tower, the Norman Warders quickly changed the locks of those places, avoiding any unforeseen circumstances.
- The Tower of London is history’s infamous castle which is surrounded by horrific history. It was used as a military base during both the World Wars.
The Tower of London is among history’s most infamous places. It was once a symbol of the establishment of power in London. Today, it is an internationally famous place and among England’s most iconic structures. The rich history of the Tower has made it is a symbol of awe and fear which grabs the attention of many people worldwide.