Wednesday, May 25, 2016

#London Visit ~ The Tower #TowerofLondon #LondonTower

I’ve been so busy these last few weeks since we returned from our London trip, I never got around to posting about our fabulous visit to London Tower on our last day.  My excuses include gearing up for a new release (HAUNTED SOULS is out in 7 days!  Electronic formats are up forPreorder – do you have your copy ordered?) and participating in a multi-author book signing weekend (all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 – 8!) at the Artist Shanties at Hyannis Harbor. 

View of The London Tower from the tube station
But I did want to share pictures and facts about London Tower, since I learned so much!  It was especially interesting to me since I was in the middle of reading a fantastic trilogy on The Wars of the Roses by Conn Iggulden, so seeing the actual places where some of the events happened was surreal.

We arrived at Tower of London via the Tower Hill tube station right in time for a tour by one of the Beefeaters (the nickname of The Yeoman Warders of Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London), which was very informative and entertaining.  After that, we did some exploring on our own, even leaving for a while to have lunch at Borough Market and returning for more.  I’ve included photos of some of the highlights, although there is too much to see to record it all!

The paved area with the circular glass
monument marks the spot where Anne
Boleyn and other royals were executed.
A monument sits on the paved area on the green where Anne Boleyn was executed. Executions inside the Tower walls, away from the public spectators, were reserved for royalty and nobility found guilty of crimes. Another of Henry VIII's wives and Lady Jane Grey were also executed here by decapitation.

Nearby, the White Tower still stands, originally built by William the Conqueror in the late 11th century.  Inside, there are four floors to explore...the Royal Armouries collection includes incredible displays of arms and armor.  On the top floor you'll find a block and axe believed to be the one used in 1747 for the last public beheading, up on Tower Hill outside the fortress. 

The White Tower, built 11th century
The Tower ravens are kept here as well, in the area known as the Mews, although some were wandering the grounds.  Legends say six ravens must be on the grounds at all times or the Tower and the entire Kingdom will fall. They keep two extra just to be safe. We were also able to view the Crown Jewels, but no pictures are allowed of that display.  Needless to say, it’s a truly amazing sight.

We saw the actual room where the young princes (and heirs to the crown) were held captive by Richard III. They disappeared, and their fate is a mystery, but Richard III was then crowned King.  Also recreated was a replica of the medieval chamber of Edward I. Wakefield Tower, 13th century.  We also saw the spot where Henry VI was killed.  He was imprisoned in the Tower during the Wars of the Roses.

Replica of the chamber of Edward I in Wakefield Tower

It was another long but incredible day!  Our others adventures are chronicled in my posts Stonehenge and Soccer, The Churchill War Rooms and London Eye, and The Catacombs of Paris and Eiffel Tower.  There’s so much to see and of course we didn’t manage it all, but I think we made the most of our five days there!  

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