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Tower of London; A Thousand Years Old Fortress

Beauty and the beast at the same time.

By Ha Le SaPublished about a month ago • 3 min read
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Tower of London; A Thousand Years Old Fortress
Photo by Gavin Allanwood on Unsplash

History

The history of London is full of several dreadful tales of massacres. One such horrific incident was the murders of a twelve-year-old Prince named Edward and his nine-year-old younger brother Richard in 1483. The notorious bloody castle got its name from the secret disappearance of two Princes kept there, apparently for their security by Richard III. They were never seen again until 1674 when two small skeletons were found beneath the stairs in one of the towers. This story is well-known as "Princes in the Tower". It is known as the most brutal happening in the history of the Tower of London. A lot of such dreadful stories are linked with the Tower of London.

Construction

The Conqueror William ordered the construction of the Tower of London as a sign of his strength and power. He constructed a fortress to show his strength in his conquered capital of the empire. At the start, the Tower of London was a beautiful mansion; originally a Royal residence; over the centuries, it's turned into the Royal Armory and a prison with a horrible history. Culprits and rebellion were initiated to be jailed there as punishment. The earliest known person imprisoned there was Bishop Ranulf Flambard.

Architecture and design

The tower complex consists of about 18 acres of land. Over time, the castle grew more and more, now consisting of about twenty-one additional towers. The oldest part of the Tower complex is the White tower present in the middle of the complex, which is an astonishing castle. William the Conqueror built the iconic White Tower as evidence of Norman power, on the River Thames to act as both fortress and gateway to the capital. It is the largest tower in the castle and the strongest from a military viewpoint. It is an extraordinary illustration of an 11th-century fortress castle staying in Europe. After the construction of this castle, the Norman kings spread a web of forts around it.

Royal zoo

A great royal menagerie was present here until 1883. It was London's first zoo and present in the Tower. The King of France sent an elephant in the 12th century, and Londoners came to see it, and the collection expanded more and more with time. As monarchs sent exotic animals as a gift. By the 19th century, the zoo started deteriorating. Then, all the collection was shifted to London's zoo; a popular tourist attraction nowadays.

Royal Museum

The most ancient museum of weapons is still present there. Today you can see a remarkable display of antiques that are belongings of the former Kings of England. Only a part of the huge collection is displayed here for visitors. The most valuable weapons and jewels are stored and protected by the Guardians of the Tower. The assembly includes Coronation Regalia and Imperial State Crown.

Tower Green

The tower started to be known as a White tower during the regime of Prince Henry III when it was painted white. Prince Henry VI collected and reserved a lot of weapons and armor there. Near the White Tower, a green tower; Tower Green, is located where a lot of famous personalities were executed. Tower Green is a royal castle in London where various British nobles, including two English Queens Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, were executed. The Tower of London is a sign of massacre and cruelty in the history of empires.

Superstitions

The two common superstitions that were related to the Tower in different time eras:

1. If any prisoners would stay alive or succeed in escaping, the tower would be buried down.

2. At least a group of six ravens was always present there. Today custom is maintained, and seven ravens, six usual and one spare, are free to roam the grounds, and warders take care of them.

By Kasturi Roy on Unsplash

The names of the now existing Tower ravens are Erin, Georgie, Gripp, Harris, Jubilee, Poppy, and Rocky. It is said that,

If the Tower of London ravens are lost or fly away, the crown will fall and Britain with it.

You may Read: Inside UK

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