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August 22, 2018

The Tower of London

In the thick of the domicile of a huge population of London lies an ancient and magnificent castle, The Tower of London. The castle has a huge significance in the history of London. It is a 900-year-old fortress which was made by King William the Conqueror. The fortress was build it the 1066 A.D. and since then it has never failed to enthral and outrage the onlookers. Besides just being a castle, it also has an opulent and elaborate history. The castle has served many purposes, from being a royal residence to the royal mint.

William of Poitiers, a prominent writer during that time, said that the King had to build the tower because he was afraid that the people of the Kingdom might rebel and overthrow him. William the Conqueror invaded London after the triumphant war at the Battle of Hastings. Though victorious, William was anxious about the insubordination by the mass. So in order to safeguard and manifest his power, he started building the Royal castle. The fort was one of its kind during that time in London. Not only was it serving as an armour to his position, but he also wanted to subjugate the lost Londoners. Anartist’s illustration of William the Conqueror

The tower is located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, which is the officially Her Majesty’s Royal Palace. It is also one of the UNESCO world heritage site, therefore every year it is teeming with people to see its brilliance.

The tower took 20 years to shape. Earlier, castles were mostly made up of timber. Artisans were called from Normandy who brought with them stone from Caen, France. It has been modified and evolved, from a mere fortress to a castle since it was first made. The later kings, Henry III and Edward I added huge uptight walls with a chain of small towers and magnified the water body surrounding the castle. The castle consists of three “wards” or enclosures. Its innermost ward is called the White Tower. The name came into being after it was whitewashed by King Henry III. The other two wards encircle the innermost ward giving it a tight security and represents visual dominance. The castle has a span of 12 acres which is equal to 5 hectares.

Ariel view of the Tower of London

The castle is infamous for housing of the crown jewels and imprisonment of various prisoners and the tortures done to them. The crown jewels are the Royal ornaments that were worn by the Royal families. One of spine chilling history about this castle was that it served as a prison back in the time. The prisoners consisted of common criminals to monarchs who were overthrown from their power. They were tormented and tortured to the core.

The castle is also famous for its Royal guards, the famous Yeoman Warders also known as the Beefeaters. They have been guarding the castle for centuries. They are also the monarch’s personal bodyguards, and they protect the Royal family through thick and thin.

The Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula is the Royal Chapel. It is another attraction to the tourist that visit the Castle. The chapel was used by the Royal families during their time. It also served as burial place of some of the most popular tower prisoners.

During the end of the 18th century, a lot of people thronged to see the great castle. People were eager to know about England’s medieval past. With the rising magnitude of the tourists, the castle had to be given utmost care. Therefore an independent charity namely Historic Royal Place safeguards its heritage. Tourism being the castle’s primary role, it is also the headquarters of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

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