Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day out in London ... 2

...so to the end of the day, Tower tube stations name is a bit of a give-away....  not really a "I have been to..." post as we didn't have enough time to justify actually going in - but I have it on the list to do (next to the Belfast visit)....

Tower of London in all it's glory...
North side of the Tower - pretty amazing view when you come out of the tube station!
The White Tower in the distance (four towers with spikes/flags on top) is the Norman origin of the castle...  between me and it are the two curtain walls - Inner and Outer that were added at later dates...

Outer curtain wall - Legge's Mount (an early artillery angle bastion) on the far right masked by the tree (Outer Wall) - the Devereux Tower (built by Henry III but named after Robert Earl of Devereux who was imprisoned in the tower for treason against Elizabeth I) behind (Inner Wall)

Bowyer Tower on the left (named after the royal bow makers who lived there; According to Shakespeare, George, Duke of Clarence was imprisoned in the Bowyer Tower for treason against his brother, King Edward IV. In 1478 he died there, supposedly by drowning in a barrel of Malmsey wine!) , Flint Tower on the right - both Inner Wall - both of these are more of Henry III's massive output..

West side - the Casemate (Outer Wall) with the Byward Tower at the far right (the Byward Tower was designed to provide a new fortified entrance to the castle- built by Henry III 'natch...) - behind them you can see the roof's/chimneys of Mint Street - site of the medieval Royal Mint...   and right behind them, Tower Bridge...

Moving round to the south - the river is behind me - in the distance the White Tower (started by William the Conqueror in 1066) - Wakefield Tower on the right (see below) - the buildings with windows are part of the inner wall - they stand on Water Street, which used to be on the bank of the river - everything between me and them is reclaimed land...
The Wakefield Tower is one of the more interesting towers -
  • the upper storey was rebuilt by Henry III, who made it the entrance to his palace - 
  • in 1360 the records of the kingdom, which had previously been kept in the White Tower, were moved here
  • the Great Hall of Wakefield Tower was the scene of Anne Boleyn's trial (the hall was pulled down during Cromwell's time
  • the name is said to be derived from the imprisonment of Yorkists taken at the Battle of Wakefield in 1460 during the War of the Roses
  • Lancastrian king, Henry VI, was murdered in the Wakefield Tower (whilst he was at prayer apparently,  probably on the orders of Edward IV) on 22nd May 1470.
...south west corner - another view of the Byward Tower - new entrance to the Tower of London, with a drawbridge. Gatehouse of the Outer Ward part Henry III part Richard II. The tower was strengthened further during Richard II's reign in 1381 following the Peasants Revolt.

Like this one... a cosmopolitan set of architectural styles..
Everyone knows this one..  Traitors Gate at the base of  St. Thomas's Tower
The gate was built by Edward I, to provide a water gate entrance St. Thomas's Tower which was originally designed to provide accommodation for the royal family. Over the years the function of the Tower moved more towards being a prison...   this gate allows direct access to the river....

I had no idea, but the pool behind Traitors' Gate had an engine that was used to feed water to a cistern on the roof of the White Tower. It worked by the force of the tide, or by horsepower, and eventually by steam engine. In 1724–6, it was adapted to drive machinery for boring gun barrels (!) and was removed in the 1860s.Interesting - people forget the Tower was also armoury - who can forget the Brown Bess - also known as Tower Musket.......

Anne Boleyn, Sir Thomas More, Catherine Howard, all entered the Tower by Traitors' Gate.

Wakefield Tower on the left (Inner wall) - Henry III's Watergate on the right (Outer wall)

Middle Tower - built by King Henry II between 1238 - 1272 - this was his new entrance to the Tower - behind it there was a stone bridge or walkway over the moat leading to the Byward Tower in the Outer Wall.  In the centre of the bridge was a wooden drawbridge. There were two portcullis in the tower. The Middle Tower was only named that because it was built between two other towers - seemples! If you visit the Tower this is the way in...

...enough of this tour'istry - next time I'd like to go inside....!


  1. We went to the Tower last year (I was previously there when I was eleven years old!) and had a fantastic time. You need at least 4 hours - go early and do the Crown Jewels first before the queues start...


  2. Thanks for sharing Steve, lovely stuff indeed. I see where the littlest steve da wargamer gets her looks from, your faces are bloody identical, thats just way weird ;-)

  3. Dave - very good.. made me laugh!