Tower of London - Part I (London - England)

My guy had already visited the Tower of London and I was unsure if should go or not, just coz the its not a lesser known destination and 2nd coz of the pretty costly entry ticket rate. However once I learnt that the place is comes under UNESCO World Heritage Site, I had to visit. My guy said the entire fort would take atleast 4-5 hrs to see superficially and he wasn't wrong. Anyways, no photography was allowed here in most of the places, so jewelry and most armoury aren't here in pictures.
So why under UNESCO? Well, in the central part of the Tower was the White Tower which is the oldest part built in 1066 by Normans after Battle of Hastings won by Willam, the Conqueror. This has 4 floors, however only 3 levels of windows. The basement was window-less where cheese and wine were stored and brewed.
Today this is where many canons, spears, some bells, and rifles of upto 19th C are kept in display. In the ground floor are a small armoury, Spanish armoury and Line of Kings. This Line of Kings was exceptionally awesome! This is where most of the metal body suits of the royalty and their horses made since 1509 in the royal armoury workshop in Greenwich, have been kept on display. To make the display exceptional, there are wooden structures of horses and human parts that support the metal armouries.


This display has been in place since 1660, like a public display of their strength! These wooden horses and heads of kings (which resemble the kings) were made about 325 yrs old. Some of the body armours here almost looks like jacquard or embroidery with exquisite detailing, though they are actually engraved metal. Some detailing like foliage and roses were intricate esp the one of Charles I. There are a couple of boys armours as well of Henry Stuart and Charles II. There's a giant's and tiny armour as well. The garniture armour of Henry VIII is very interesting with detachable pieces which can be mixed and matched according to the war or event or tournament!!!



On the floor atop is the oldest church, Chapel Royal of St John and weapons in display. The topmost floor was where originally used to be a torture chamber presently a display of royal coins and old photographs! A coin press used from 1660s to 1810 was also present in the display.
There are some more interesting features like the royal lavatory(!), twisty staircases, arched pathways etc in this tower.
Thorougout 1200s till 1350 CE, the fortress was expanded to its present structure. The main portion here is presently used to display the crown jewels! I became just Breathless!!! The best part of accessibility here is there's a walkalator is present which takes the viewers from one end of the display to the other end and I went on it thrice to have a good look at the jewels! Esp., the Queen's crown with the Koh-i-noor is my personal favourite coz its origin was in my country (check out my post on where it was excavated!). Another awesome diamond which is also the world's biggest was the Cullinan diamond which was excavated in Africa and it was cut into 9 major diamonds and 96 small brilliant ones which are now set in several crown jewels. The biggest one is teardrop shaped and is fixed onto a sceptre.


A separate section of the fort is now used for the display of new armories since the world wars. This also displays the uniforms of various ranks of defense forces and also various medals incl the highest award Victoria Cross!
Also in display are various products used by soldiers like Bible, mugs, cigar boxes etc. Some letters and journals written by soldiers were also there! Here's a statue of King George V wearing his uniform.
Another tower opposite to it is the Beauchamp Tower built in 1280. Personally this was the tower that caught my attention completely. This was 3 storeyed prison where important prisoners & royal traitors were kept! It has narrow windows which are essentially arrow loops through which crossbow bolts were fired.


All over this tower on the walls, the prisoners had engraved something or the other - their name, messages, prayers, poetry, drawings and a lot more!!! That makes the place so personal and a silent moment there could make you imagine the prisoners sitting there and engraving on the wall, with nails or whatever they could find!!!
For regular prisoners, execution happened in the nearby Tower Hill. However for important or controversial few it happened inside the fort. In the midst of the open space was a garden and at its centre is a plaque designed by Brian Catling. This was very place where these executions happened incl Queen Anne Boleyn in 1536! Beside this is the Chapel of St.Peter ad Vincula where they were buried. Today there are 5 sarcophagi in the chapel. 
Another tower here is the Salt Tower which was also used to keep prisoners where some more prisoner engravings are present till date. 
Ok... Now this post is getting too long. I'm cutting it here and will back to you with more in the next post!

Entry ticket: £22 per head. Can be bought earlier online or at the venue on the day of visit. This comes under Historic Royal Palaces and has a separate pass / membership for longer period of time & multiple visits.
Make sure to attend the Yeoman guided walk. It lasts for about an hour and starts every half an hour. The history that they share in such a funny manner is absolutely must-do!

To get there:
Nearest Tube Stations: Tower Hill, Fenchurch Street & London Bridge
Nearest Riverboat pier: Tower pier

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

19 comments:

  1. Wow, it must have been such an out of the world feeling to see the Kohinoor in person. My imagination is running wild as you describe the armour and the weapons, I hope to see them all one day

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  2. This is a treasure to behold. The Beauchamp Tower reminds me of the architectural towers I see in "Robin Hood" movies. I hope to explore them in reality soon.

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  3. For a place that does not allow to take that much photos, you certainly were still able to capture a lot. You took a lovely shot of the facade. It's a beautiful place and I won't mind having to spend 4-5 hours going around. I'm sure it's all worth the effort.

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  4. It's true no matter how much costly it is the ticket it's worth visiting this place...I enjoyed your pictures.You did a great job in photography here.

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  5. I will never miss going here because it's a UNESCO Heritage Site. It speaks volumes of stories, some of which made it to the pages of history books.

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  6. Wow, the salt tower looks a little eerie now that you said they are used to keep prisoners. I can't imagine what the prisoners would write!

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  7. Some of the areas are a little creepy to go to alone, or maybe it's just me. It's always nice to tour places like this though, it gives you a glimpse of the past. That lavatory is a nice touch, lol.

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  8. I really wish I could visit London soon! Such a beautiful place! :D

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  9. Amazing experience it must be to visit Tower of London and see Kohinoor. Your post just gave us a virtual tour too.

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  10. There's so much history in the walls of the tower. I would want to see the prison tower since it has so much interesting items in there.

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  11. I never knew there was so much to see inside the Tower! Definitely one of the must-sees in London, what with the fabulous collection of royal jewels we common folk could only dream about.

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  12. Feels like I personally witness the inside Tower of London with your post. Thanks for the virtual tour, now I can share some thoughts to my children when we plan to visit London.

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  13. This is memorable, I wish to visit the place and check out the historical site if it. Nice posting and thanks for sharing.

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  14. I can't wait to visit London. When I go, I'll make sure to rely on your blog for amazing things to do like this for instance!

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  15. How I wish to live in London! I would love to see these amazing structures every day. :)

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  16. I'm starting to know london more and more all thanks to your blog! Thanks for the informative post and lovely pictures dear, knowing I can't travel to UKanytime soon due to my country's poor currency but at least I get to visit the place through your blog!

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  17. A beautiful glimpse of the past from the "eyes" of the present. When i was in London, i had a tour guide describe all the pump and gory details of the city. I also was at the place where Queen Anne Boleyn was executed after being falsely accused of witchcraft, adultery, incest and conspiracy against the king.

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  18. London is so historically rich.I love it! Thanks for sharing!

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