One of the most significant buildings In Britain, the Tower of London is a fortress of historical gems. The World Heritage Site has been a royal palace, a place of torture and imprisonment, a stronghold during wars, a royal treasure vault, an observatory, and even a private zoo. Built in 1078 by William the Conqueror, the White Tower was the first of the now many intricate towers and wards that make of the Tower of London we know today. Covering 18 acres on Tower Hill, The Tower now consists of an outer and inner ward with a total of 19 towers and 2 bastions. The original tower, located in the center of the Inner Ward, The White Tower is a striking four stories tall. Named after its pearly white stone, its construction finished in 1100, but was restored later by Christopher Wren in the 17th Century. Visitors can explore all 4 floors of the towers which contain the Royal Armories Collection and the “300 line of Kings” exhibition.The Bloody tower has held some famous prisoners in the past, such as Sir Walter Raleigh, whose cell still remains as it was during his imprisonment. One of its unsolved mysteries includes the “Princes in the Tower.” Allegedly murdered by their uncle Richard III, the princes disappeared into the tower, never to be seen again, allowing their uncle to take the throne. Other ghosts tend to haunt this tower including the elusive “White Lady” and Anne Boleyn herself.
The Crown Jewels have been safely housed at the Tower of London since 1968. Even though the ritual of coronations is over 1000 years old, the crown jewels are still timeless. This prestigious collection includes the Imperial State Crown, St. Edward’s Crown, The Sovereign’s Sceptre with the Cross as well as the Golden Anointing Bowl and Spoon. The Royal Mint was located at the Tower of London from 1279 to 1812. This exhibit includes rare objects and displays all from the Royal Mint Museum.The legend of the ravens claims that the kingdom and the tower will fall if the six ravens ever leave the fortress. Due to this legend Charles II insisted that the ravens of the Tower should be sheltered. The ravens have had one wing trimmed to prevent them from flying away, however some ravens do tend to fly away and have been seen at surrounding pubs.
Needless to say, there is an abundance of history and attractions inside the Tower of London. There is so much more to explore at the Tower of London, check out some Lancaster Gate Hotel Hyde Park so you can spend more time and appreciate this gem of London history.