Standing at twenty towers high, the Tower of London is one of the most well-known prisons in the world aside from New York’s Sing Sing Prison. Its history can be traced all the way back to 800 years ago and is known for its historical and cultural value and the riches stored in there.
The structure had been completed in 1000 A.D. Its original structure had been used as a fort by William the Conqueror. It is more than 100 feet high and has walls measuring 16 feet thick. It was built to be strong and withstand the test of time. It was regarded as the tallest building in London when its structure had been completed. During the 12th century, a king decided to have it painted in white. Thus it was given the name White Tower.
From that time up until now, it is used as a prison. Expensive and timeless collections of crown jewels are also kept in here. Past kings had kept their valuable collections in this tower.
Throughout the years, the Tower of London had been used as a facility to keep important documents, records, the beginning of the Zoo, the Royal Mint and the observatory which was built in the 1600’s.
The tower has a distinctive spiral staircase running through it. The oldest museum of London which is the National Museum of Arms is also housed here which keeps more than 30,000 armor pieces.
At some point in time during the 1800’s, a moat had been drained. Over the years, other buildings had been constructed forming a complex which consists of a gate, Middle Tower, Garden Tower and Byward Tower.
History states that some of its tenants were Henry the VIII’s second wife, Little Princess. Some of the former kings’ victims were also kept in this tower. The torture devices that are displayed and tools had confirmed such speculation. Blood stains along the stones further strengthened this belief.
Ann Boleyn, wife of King Henry was said to have been executed here upon his order due to accusations concerning inappropriate actions. History states that she was ordered to be executed because she gave birth to a daughter instead of a son. Ann Boleyn’s daughter eventually became England’s future Queen. The ghost of Ann Boleyn had been rumored to be wandering through the tower.
One of the main attractions of the tower is the Crown Jewels. Stunning jewels, rings, necklaces and other precious pieces of gems can be found in the tower’s Jewel House.
Famous Queens such as Queen Victoria keep some of their precious jewelries here. The 2,000-carat Star of Africa, which is a large diamond found in an African mine during the 20th century, is also safely housed in this tower.