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Tower of London

Page 5
Continued from page 4


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 as:

  • 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 special exhibitions.

  • 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.

  • photoTraitors' 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.

  •  Chapel Royal of St. Peter et Vincula, which faces Tower Green, has Sunday services 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.

  • photoBeauchamp 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.

Next page: The Crown Jewels

Top and bottom photos copyright © HRP. Used by permission.

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