Tower of London
ABOVE: Two of Henry VIII's wives, Anne Boleyn
and Catherine Howard, were beheaded on the scaffold site at the Tower of London.
INSET BELOW: Traitors' Gate; prisoners' inscriptions at Beauchamp Tower.
Sites and sights
The easiest way to get your bearings (along with an
understanding of the Tower and its history) is to join a Yeoman Warder tour,
which is guaranteed to be both informative and entertaining. After that, you can
wander about the Tower's grounds on your own, allowing time for such attractions
The White Tower, which dates back to the time of William
the Conqueror and is the oldest of the Tower's buildings. An ancient chapel is
on the ground floor; head upstairs to see displays from the Royal Armouries and
The Medieval Palace, which includes St. Thomas's Tower,
the Wakefield Tower, and the Lanthorn Tower. The reconstructed interiors will
give you a sense of what the palace was like in the 13th and 14th Centuries.
Gate (photo at right), the Tower's water entrance from the 13th through the
18th Centuries. Many prisoners arrived here by boat from the Thames.
Tower Green and the Scaffold Site (see photo at top
of page), where seven famous prisoners--including three Queens of England--were
executed by axe or sword. The Chapel Royal of St. Peter et Vincula, which
faces Tower Green, has
that are open to the public.
Bloody Tower, a former gatehouse that has been occupied
by such famous prisoners as the Little Princes (Edward IV's sons) and Sir Walter
Raleigh. The latter's apartment is furnished as it might have appeared during
his 13-year stay.
Tower, where you'll find prisoners' inscriptions (photo at right) and
displays of archaeological discoveries at the Tower of London.
The Crown Jewels and the Tower Ravens, which are
described elsewhere in this article. (See navigation table below.)
The Wall Walk, which runs along the Tower's eastern inner
curtain wall that was built early in the 13th Century.
The Crown Jewels
Top and bottom photos copyright
© HRP. Used by permission.