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Travel and Leisure

Top Eight Facts About the Tower Of London

Eight Facts About the Tower Of London

Situated in the central part of London, the Tower of London is one of the city’s oldest attractions. A Tower of London tour is a must if you ever find yourself in the city.

This 1000-year-old monument inspires awe, horror, and intrigue. The conspiracies hatched behind the thick walls of the Tower of London could put the writers of Game of Thrones to shame. William The Conqueror built the White Tower in 1066 on the River Thames. This Tower symbolized Norman power and dominance. Over time, 21 additional structures were added to it. The result is in front of us!

The Tower of London has found its name in the coveted UNESCO World Heritage Site. Millions of people from all over the world visit the Tower every year.

If you want to know more about the formidable Tower of London then this is the perfect article for you. Knowing these facts about the attraction will make your experience more exciting and enriching.

Many prisoners of repute have been held here

The Tower of London has seen the freedom of many notable people being snatched in front of their eyes. From royals accused of treason to common thieves- many people have been incarcerated in the Tower of London. The Tower has also seen mecidiyeköy escort executions.

Three queens were beheaded here in the 16th century. Queen Elizabeth, I was just 2 when her mother Anne Boleyn was condemned to death by her husband King Henry VIII. Catherine Howard, the King’s fifth was also executed here on his orders. Lady Jane Grey, also known as the nine days queen, was just seventeen when she was executed here on the orders of Queen Mary I. Her crime was high treason.

The first prisoner here was Ranulf Flambard, Bishop of Durham. He was successful in escaping through the window using rope smuggled to him.

The Tower of London once housed a zoo that was home to a now-extinct subspecies of the Barbary lion

King John started a royal menagerie in the Tower of London in the 1200s. The purpose behind this was to hold the exotic animals gifted to him by other monarchs. It attracted many Londoners who came to see captive lions and white bears. The menagerie closed in the 1830s and the animals presented as royal gifts were rehomed in the London Zoo.

In 1936 the excavations revealed the presence of two lion skulls dating to medieval times. Genetic evidence revealed that these skulls belonged to a subspecies of Barbay lion. These species lived in Africa once upon a time but have now gone extinct.

Ravens are the natural guardians of the Tower of London

It is reported that the Tower of London has at least six ravens inside its premises all the time. It is believed that ravens are the natural protectors and guardians of the Tower. One of the raven’s wings is clipped to prevent them from flying away. The ravens must always stay inside the Tower. It is believed that their presence protects the Tower from external dangers.

According to the legend, King Charles II was warned in the mid-17th century that the Tower would fall if the ravens ever left its grounds. The King immediately ordered six of the birds in captivity there at all times. Today, the Tower has seven ravens living inside the Tower.

The Tower is believed to be haunted

Well, judging by the bloody and gruesome past of the Tower, it should not come as a surprise. Several ghosts of those who were executed have been spotted here by the believers.

The Tower of London is believed to be one of the most haunted buildings in London. The ghost stories are so popular that tours specifically for ‘ghostbusting’ are organized here.

The Tower of London was damaged during World War II

The Tower of London is quite a sturdy building. However, the castle was damaged during the bombings of London during the Second World War. This led to the closing of the Tower to the public. The White Tower fortunately was not damaged. After World War II ended, the Tower was reopened to the public.

There was a money mint inside the Tower of London

For at least 500 years, the Tower of London housed London’s money mint. Coin money was made here- first by hand and later by machines. Coin-making was a long and arduous process. On top of that, it was quite noisy too. Because of this process, the street on which the Tower was located came to be known as Mint Street.

The Tower ceased to be a Money Mint in the 1800s. The money mint was transferred elsewhere.

In 2019, 500-year-old skeletons were excavated under the Tower of London’s chapel

Archeologists uncovered two skeletons near the same spot where the headless body of Queen Anne was laid to rest. These two bodies were of an adult woman and a child. It was believed that they were laid to rest somewhere between 1450 and 1550.

The guards of the Tower- Beefeaters- live in the Tower with their families

The Yeomen Warders- also called the Beefeaters-have been guarding and protecting the Tower with their life since the Tudor era. They are easily recognizable in their sharp red dress. These 37 men and women give tours of the fortress to the visitors.

Every night at 9:53 pm they lock the tower. This tradition has been in place for more than 700 years, and is called the Ceremony Of Keys.

If the above-mentioned facts have excited you, then book your Tower Of London tour tickets without much ado. One of the best ways to explore it is to take a 1-day hop-on hop-off bus tour London with Hop on Hop off Plus.

Nicolas Mathew

Nicolas Mathew is a storyteller & a travel writer at Hop on Hop Off Plus. He loves to talk & share about his travel guides, knowledge, and travel life experiences specially about hop on hop off London and various iconic attractions in London. Being a passionate traveler, he has been fortunate to visit more than 5 countries and still has many more visits. He loves to share his travel guides, knowledge, and travel life experiences.

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