In the early 1080s, William the Conqueror began to build the Tower of London. From then Successive monarchs have added to the awesome fortress over the following centuries.
Visiting the Tower of London could easily take up a full day and possibly another if you would like to thoroughly visit it all it has to offer. The Tower over the years has had many different uses and passed through many different families so whether it be the uses, the history, the people or their stories which you would like to find out about the most, The Tower of London has it all.
Find out about The Royal Managerie which was founded in the early 1200s during the reign of King John (1199-1216). For over 600 years, animals were kept here as symbols of power and for the entertainment and curiosity of the court. Everything from elephants to tigers, kangaroos and ostriches lived in what was known as the Royal Menagerie.
If a more gruesome tale is your thing, the torture of prisoners at the Tower prison might be for you discover how most incidents of torture happened at the Tower of London during the Tudor period. Prisoners were mentally and physically tortured. Prisoners were threatened with torture, were shown the instruments and then if they still didn't co-operate, were tortured. The main ways to torture people at the Tower were the rack and the manacles.
Then again, if you'd like something with a bit more sparkle, The Tower of London is also home to the Crown Jewels. The monarchy continues to acquire jewels and these are housed in the Jewel House.
One of the most significant acquisitions was the Cullinan Diamond presented to Edward VII on his 66th birthday in November 1907. The diamond was a gift from the Prime Minister of the Transvaal in South Africa, General Louis Botha.
The diamond was cut into nine stones. The two largest, Cullinan I and II, were exhibited at the Tower of London as ‘The Star of Africa’ and the ‘Second Star of Africa’. Cullinan II was set in the front band of the Imperial State Crown. Cullinan I was inserted in the head of the Sovereign’s Sceptre.
The remainder of the stones (Cullinan III-IX) are part of the Queen’s personal collection.
Discover all this and much more!