While looking through my blog book (see the previous 2 posts), I realized that I hadn't shared a few sights from our trip last summer. So, let's pay a very quick visit to the Tower of London.
We walked along the opposite side of the Thames River for our first glimpse of this massive place. I could hardly believe I was there, in this place where so much history occurred. I've read history books and historical fiction since I was a child, and much of it was English.
The building with the four towers in the photo is the White Tower, built in 1080 by William the Conqueror as a royal residence. Subsequent kings added to it.
From the river, many prisoners entered the Tower via this entrance, now blocked up. What fear they must have felt going into this prison, knowing that the likelihood of their release was minimal, and highly dependent upon the whim of the current monarch. Among them two young queens - Catherine Howard and Lady Jane Grey (the Nine-day Queen). Anne Boleyn most likely entered through another gate.
The Tower sprawls over 12 acres of land (5 hectares) and encompasses residential housing for the Yeomen Warders, who guard the Tower.
Yeoman Warder Towell gave a great tour of the Tower. He is a wealth of information and kept us all moving through the grounds.
One thing I learned was that very few executions took place within the Tower walls. Most occurred on a mound outside the walls. However, the three queens previously mentioned, along with a few other unfortunate souls, were beheaded within the walls, privately, and this glass memorial marks the spot.
After the tour, we wandered about the walls and encountered this brave knight, about to take part in a reenactment. He is wearing chain mail. I asked him how much it weighed and he guessed about 50 pounds! That's weight-bearing exercise for you!
These charming little patios, seen from the inner wall, belong to the Yeomen Warders who live on the grounds.
We saw much, much more, including the magnificent Crown Jewels. If you ever get to London, the Tower is a must. History echoes in every stone.
Linking with Mosaic Monday, hosted by Maggie of Normandy Life.