The Tower of London has been infamous for legends of royal tragedies. In 1471, Henry VI was slain, here following, the children of Edward IV who vanished into the tower walls in 1483. Thus exploring this iconic castle and World Heritage Site of London was a delight. A perfect chance to get up close to Crown Jewels, legendary Yeoman Warders and ravens. On one of the sunshiny summer mornings during my week-long stay in London, I set out to tour this historic castle in central London. Majesty’s Royal Fortress – the Tower of London is an inordinate site, founded almost a thousand years back. History recalls this legendary fortress as an infamous prison where antiquity reverberates many untold royal secrets.
Henry III renamed the Tower of London to White Tower (also called the Lion Tower) during his reign and developed, a Zoo near the drawbridge where he kept all the animals bought to him as gifts. In 1988, this Norman Tower La Tour Blanche was included, in the UNESCO world heritage sites list. I was filled, with wonder as I rambled along diverse sections of this extensive White Tower that has a quintessential framework of Norman military architecture; an impact of power assumed everywhere in the kingdom. This imposing fortress of the Tower of London was essentially built by William to advance his leadership and to secure London. The Tower since then has become one of the prominent emblems of royalty.
Sited strategically at a crescent alongside River Thames, Tower of London is a significant demarcation separating the influence of the developments and the power of the monarchy. As the most-guarded fortress in the realm, this luxurious Tower also safeguards the Crown Jewels, royal possessions and the pampered ravens. In fact, until the 19th-century this Tower ‘literally’ towered its vicinity and performed an iconic role speculating England’s last military triumph. So I read somewhere! The Tower of London is a superlative relic of a frequently progressing ensemble of royal buildings from 11th to 16th-century. Although only a few of the palace buildings of the royal complex, now stand the ground. These palatial structures render a flash into the life of medieval monarchs.
Royal Ravens are the certified keepers of this palace, but their wings are clipped, to restrain them from flying. Legend has it that the day the Tower loses its ravens, is when both the fortress and commonwealth of England would drop its power. If any of that, has to be believed, then long live the Ravens! It’s hard to tell whether I was fascinated, or horrified, as touring this fortress evoked both the sentiments. The commemorations, rich history and other legends breathe on, as you walk around, as do the ghost tales and gruesome stories of martyrdom, inspiring terror.
With a ticket to visit the Tower of London, you may also avail access to a guided tour to Crown Jewel Exhibition, LIVE historical re-enactments, Royal Armouries, Yeoman coins, The Fusilier Museum, Line of Kings and Warder. London Bridge is the nearest station. In the neighbourhood, there are plenty of intriguing museums worth exploring, such as the Floating Museum, Science Museum London, and the London Transport Museum.