Author Topic: The Tower of London  (Read 33711 times)

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Offline PrincessIncarnate

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The Tower of London
« on: September 14, 2006, 11:22:45 PM »
 

I have always been fascinated by the Tower and am very curious about its origin and purpose. We do not have a thread on the Tower yet and I would be delighted to hear people's accounts and comments.
 
When was the Tower built, and why?

Why were people sent there?

What were the traditions surrounding the Tower?


Offline Taren

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Re: The Tower of London
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2006, 11:58:51 PM »
The official website: http://www.tower-of-london.org.uk/webcode/tower_home.asp

William the Conquerer had it built (it was completed around 1100) so that England would have protection from the Normans.

Some of the people held prisoner there were Anne Boleyn, her daughter the Princess Elizabeth (before she became queen), Sir Thomas More, Jane Grey and Guildford Dudley, The Earl of Essex, and the "Princes in the tower". There have been many more. Some say that Anne Boleyn's ghost wanders the halls of the tower.

Today it's a popular tourist attraction and is the Crown Jewels are kept.

An interesting story surrounding the tower is that of the ravens. Apparently there have always been around six or eight ravens that live there. Legend has it that if they leave the monarchy will crumble. The current ravens' wings are clipped. Better safe than sorry I say!  ;D

I want to say that traditionally the monarch spends the night before his or her coronation there.


Offline Yseult

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Re: The Tower of London
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2006, 12:09:14 AM »
Willie Shakespeare, in his fabulous tragedy "Richard III", suggested that the Tower had a very earlier orige, because it have been built by Julius Caesar  ;D But it is a legend, not the historical truth ;)

I think that the Tower was built by William I, the Conqueror who came from Normandy. He wished to erect an impregnable fortress using Caen stone, as a great demostration of his power. Later, king Richard the Lionheart ordered to enclose the Tower with high embattled walls of stone.

People who was sent to the Tower...The first arrival of royal prisoners happened in the reign of Edward III: he ordered to conduct his own brother-in-law, king David II of the Scots, to the Tower after he had been taken prisoner at the Battle of Neville´s Cross. King John of France and his son prince Philip, both of them captured in battlefield by the famous Black Prince of Wales, were also hosted at the Towers before the french court payed a great ransom.

The lancastrian king Henry IV was also a prisoner at the Tower during the reign of his cousin Edward IV.

I remember, specially, George duke of Clarence and poor Margaret of Salisbury, and also the son of Margaret, Henry lord Montagu, with his wife and children. The Queen of the Nine Days, Jane Grey, was also imprisoned there with her husband Guildford Dudley. But also Anne Boleyn, her first cousin Catherine Howard and lady Jane Rochfort. Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley, later earl Leicester, were shortly imprisoned at the Tower. A lot of years later, Robert Devereux, earl of Essex, was there.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2006, 12:23:01 AM by Yseult »

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: The Tower of London
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2006, 10:05:24 AM »
I visited the Tower some years ago. I was there for 6 hours, but it still wasn't long enough to see everything!  :D

It was used as a prison right up to the 20th century - Sir Roger Casement, a man who aided the rebels of the 1916 Rising in Ireland, was held in the Tower before being hanged.
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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: The Tower of London
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2006, 10:14:54 AM »
The Tower of London is one of my most favorite places to visit. I have been there three or four times, and would go again the next time I am in London. It is so amazing to walk on the cobblestone knowing which historical figures walked there at one time, to look at the Traitor's Gate, knowing who came through there! If you ever get the chance to visit it, don't miss this experience, and plan on being there for hours. 

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: The Tower of London
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2006, 10:45:11 AM »
Here are some photos I took at the Tower.

The remnant of the Roman city wall, across from the Tower. Another piece of the wall survives inside the Tower itself.



Steps of the Traitor's Gate, that all "traitors" had to climb when taken into the Tower, including Anne Boleyn and Princess Elizabeth:




The area on Tower Green where the scaffold was erected for Anne Boleyn's, and later Catherine Howard's and Jane Grey's, execution.




I have many more interesting photos from the Tower, which I will post later.



Offline PrincessIncarnate

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Re: The Tower of London
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2006, 02:15:12 PM »
Was it the only prison during the Tudor reign? Were only royalty sent there? Or commoners who did crimes and didn't pay their taxes?

What about the torture methodology? What kinds of implements were used, and was it only to confess? Or was it like Hitler who used experiments to see what would happen...

Offline PrincessIncarnate

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Re: The Tower of London
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2006, 02:16:15 PM »
Also, how many rooms were there? How many prisoners could be held there at once?

And why is it called Tower, intead of Towers? I see four in the pictures... :-\

Offline Kimberly

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Re: The Tower of London
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2006, 02:31:21 PM »
That is the White tower. I found this excellent site on Google; http://www.camelotintl.com/tower_site/  ;)
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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: The Tower of London
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2006, 02:33:58 PM »
Also, how many rooms were there? How many prisoners could be held there at once?

And why is it called Tower, intead of Towers? I see four in the pictures... :-\ 

I think there are something like 14 or 15 towers, I don't remember the exact number.

Also, how many rooms were there?

Lots

Were only royalty sent there?

No.

BTW, the last prisoner who was held there was Rudolf Hess, the Deputy Fuhrer of Nazi Germany, in the 1940's. I believe it was in the Bell Tower.

Here is the Bell Tower, which is also where Elizabeth I was held as a prisoner when still a princess:





Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: The Tower of London
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2006, 02:36:32 PM »
This is what the outside looked like to a prisoner in the Tower  ;):





Offline Kimberly

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Re: The Tower of London
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2006, 02:46:34 PM »
My favorite place is the Chapel of St Peter ad vincula
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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: The Tower of London
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2006, 02:52:30 PM »
My favorite place is the Chapel of St Peter ad vincula

Yes, definitely. It is where Anne Boleyn's, Catherine Howard's et al remains are supposed to be buried. One of the last things those two probably saw before they got executed was this chapel, because it was right in front of their scaffold...



« Last Edit: September 15, 2006, 02:55:00 PM by Helen_A »

Offline PrincessIncarnate

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Re: The Tower of London
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2006, 02:40:51 PM »
Was only royalty kept there? No peasants who didn't pay taxes, and such? And what about the different toture devices they used...what was the worst?

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: The Tower of London
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2006, 02:49:07 PM »
« Last Edit: September 17, 2006, 02:50:49 PM by Helen_A »