Wow the Tower of London, forget the kids I learnt so much about London’s history here. It is amazing!
We were not planning to visit the Tower last half term, but as we got the train from Upminster this was were we ended up. We had planned to go to the Natural History Museum. However when we came out of the station the Tower was there. So imposing, and impressive.
So after a quick family conference and bribing Joe £5.00 to put the Natural History Museum of until August, we decided to spend the day here. Now we were so lucky, have you ever noticed the booklets at the train and tube stations about days out in London, well next time you visit London pick one up as there is all sorts off offers to get in many of the London attractions, buy one get one free. I picked one up so was prepared; I also had a few spare vouchers in book, so handed them out to people in the queue too. Inside the Tower grounds are huge, it is actually larger than my local village and people still live in the grounds.
I cant believes I ever never visited the Tower, and we had never brought the Boys. Now I have been I realise it really is a tourist must. It was built around 1070 by William the Conqueror and used by Royalty ever since. In 1100 Henry the first started to keep Lions; and for Hundreds of years a menagerie was maintained at the Tower. We read on one board that Londoners were able to visit the Animals but only occasions were mauled and killed. Londoners also used to bring their pet cats and dogs to feed to the Lions to please the King. The menagerie grew, as gentry from other countries would gift the king with Animals to add to his collection.
You could not take pictures inside the Crown Jewels tower. It was spectacular. The Jewels were beautiful, as a real lover of the Queen I was tearful when I saw the coronation crown, I know geek. The security is amazing in there, the vault walls were so thick; the value of the Jewels must be astronomical. There was even a diamond encrusted rattle.
The Boys loved seeing all the beefeaters and couldn’t wait to get their photographs taken with one. Although I think they looked a bit nervous on the photo, even though the man was lovely and happy to let them have their photo taken with him.
Can you believe there is a village within the Tower walls, and even a village square? It looks a bit like a Dickensian Village, so pretty a bit like how London is portrayed in Disney Films.
The Ravens still live at the Tower, I thought that was just a myth, but no they were there, and the boys spent some time watching them. I found this interesting link about the Ravens. Legend says that the kingdom and the Tower will fall if the six resident ravens ever leave the fortress. But did you know that one once had to be sacked for eating the television Ariel’s. It is the silly facts like this that Boys just love isn’t it? And they will remember the history because of that fact.
The Tower has seen many prisoners here link to some, following our visit to Warwick Castle and watching the White Queen on T.V last year. I am very interested in the story of the war of the roses. And of course a lot of the history took place between these very walls. I found the Martin Tower very sad; this is where, 12-year-old Edward V and his younger brother Richard were sent by their uncle, the Duke of Gloucester. By July 1483 they were declared illegitimate and the Duke was crowned King Richard III. The princes were never seen again. – See more here It just felt awful to be in a room that two little Boys were, as legend states murdered by their uncle because they had a claim to the throne. Thank goodness society has evolved.
Joe’s favourite room was definitely the Line of Kings, in the White Tower. This was a huge exhibition that is in excess of 300 years old. It was made up of the real armour of previous kings; there was even children’s armour. There were huge carvings of kings horses; the detail in the horses was unbelievable. And to think that the armour displayed has seen many bloody battles was unbelievable.
And I never knew that Sir Walter Raleigh spent 13 years incarcerated in the tower.
As a day out, the Tower of London had so much to offer. The History was presented in such an exciting way, which really got you thinking what life was like back then. It thoroughly engaged both the boys and kept them engaged throughout the whole trip. You really do need to set a whole day aside as I haven’t even touched on half of what we saw.