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Pictures of Tower of London

a Historic Building in the town of London, in the county of Greater London

About Tower of London

Historic epicentre of might and majesty, the tower has a history without parallel anywhere else in the world. With its icy past that today still sends shivers down the spine, it is difficult to believe that the tower originated as a Royal Palace, but it did.

It is one of the most important pieces of medieval architecture, and is the most visited castle in England. At its core is the great White Tower built by William the Conqueror in about 1080. He built the Tower within the Roman city walls which provided part of the fortifications.

At the time of the 13th-century the building had taken on the shape we see today, with the addition of being further fortified by two rings of massive walls with towers. These were the work of Richard I, Henry II, and Edward I, and although they have been much repaired and strengthened, they remain largely as built.

The tower has so many bloodthirsty associations that it seems impossible it was ever used as a happy Royal home. Many of history's most powerful characters stalked the Tower's corridors. It's use as a prison is well documented, the walls of Beauchamp Tower are carved with the last written words of those awaiting death, and the Bowyer Tower still contains some of the instruments of torture used on those awaiting trial.

State prisoners were usually hurried in through Traitors Gate in St.Stephen's Hill, and executions took place inside the Tower, and more publicly, outside on Tower Hill. Some of the important people to be imprisoned and executed here include; Sir Thomas Moore, Archbishop Laud, Lady Jane Grey, and Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second wife for whom he divorced Queen Catherine and divided the church.

England's Crown Jewels are kept locked in the Tower of London as a reminder of when Oliver Cromwell tried to demolish the palace buildings, and the fact that it once served as a Royal home. The sight of these historic jewels, symbols of majesty, is simply overwhelming, and leaves all who gaze upon them breathless with wonder.

The Ravens of the Tower are a source of fascination, it is said that if they ever left the monarchy would fall. However, since they have their wings clipped this seems unlikely. In the moat visitors can see a memorial to the Ravens who have lived and died within the Tower walls.

In the White Tower there is a magnificent display of medieval arms and armour, including the famous suit of armour made for Henry VIII.

Prince Albert, Consort of Queen Victoria was responsible for restoring St.John's Chapel back to its former Romanesque beauty. The chapel was built in 1080 at the same time as the Tower buildings began.

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