|(Tower of London with Tower Bridge in the back)|
I once went to the Tower of London on a class field trip
and learned some basic facts about the castle.
They are as follow:
The Tower of London is one of the oldest castles in England
and was built by William the Conqueror; it originally consisted of only the White Tower.
Like most castles in Britain, the Tower is built over an old Roman fort.
The White Tower has four towers and was once a royal palace.
|(The White Tower)|
The Tower of London has a total of twenty towers.
The Tower currently hold the Royal Jewels of England,
and was once home to the Royal Beast,
but they were removed and placed in Regent’s Park Zoo
because they once escaped from the castle and were running wild!
The old Norman Tower/White Tower is beautiful with its white walls
and grand open interior on all of its three floors.
Across the lawn from the White Tower
is the Queen’s House which is a beautiful preserved Tudor style building,
which was originally built for Queen Ann from Henry VIII.
Sadly she died before she saw it completed.
|(The Queen's House)|
The Tower of London is spectacular
with its architecture and ingenuity in how to protect it from being attacked.
The moat that once surrounded the Tower was one of the foulest smells in the city
and best protection for the castle because it was basically a giant toilet.
But these little facts are not what I remember best
from my day spent at the Tower of London.
The thing that is most memorable to me is the tour I went on
and a very special Beefeater named Peter who led it.
When I went to the Tower of London
it was a blustery Tuesday afternoon in October.
The sun was shining but the air was cold and damp.
Bundled up in three layers of clothes
I went on a guided tour of the castle given by a Beefeater.
A Beefeater is one of the Queen’s guards who lives and works in the Tower of London.
The Beefeater that led my tour was a sweet old man roughly in his fifties,
and he took great pride in what he was telling everyone about the castle.
He made the whole experience one hundred times better
with his jokes about the prisoners who were held in the Tower.
For example he took great pity on Sir Walter Raleigh
who was once locked in the Queen’s House with his wife for several years!
Saying that that was one of the most horrible fates for a man,
luckily he and his wife were released but in the mean time they had had a child.
|(Traitors Gate where traitors of the crown, such as Ann Boleyn would have been brought through)|
Throughout the whole tour little stories like that one were interjected
to give life and character to the place that you were seeing.
It made the past almost feel like a wonderful area for exploration
and made me want to know more about the Tower and its past and the people
who once lived there,
and to forget about the fact that the tips of my fingers had gone numb.
|(all the girls in the group with Peter the Beefeater)|
I am very grateful to Peter the Beefeater who made my visit fun and memorable.
I recommend that if you are going to the Tower of London anytime soon
that you go on a guided tour. It is not that difficult.
In fact if you go to the website below
you can see all the different things that you can see and do at the Tower of London.