The Tower of London has a fascinating history spanning almost 1,000 many years. It has served numerous purposes above the centuries fortress, prison, royal palace, jewel home, mint, arsenal and spot of execution.

When work was begun by William the Conqueror in 1078, Londoners had by no means noticed anything in the like ahead of. He had stone specially imported from France to create the White Tower and its exclusive Norman fashion was very outlandish towards the locals.

William noticed the need to construct a fortress in this strong and prosperous city to not defend it from foreign invasion, but to defend the conquering Normans in the city's own inhabitants. For hundreds of years afterwards, the Tower served exactly the same purpose, supplying security and security for different monarchs from their particular subjects in turbulent times.

As time passed and requirements modified, the Tower was adapted and extended right up until it grew to become an substantial complicated of fortifications. The 13th century saw the establishment of a Royal Mint on the premises, at the same time like a menagerie. This personal collection of exotic beasts is believed to get begun when Henry III received three huge cats (leopards or potentially lions) as being a wedding present in 1235. The Lion Tower was built to house the collection, which had grow to be a public attraction through the late 18th century. Nevertheless, using the opening of London Zoo in the early 19th century, the animals had been transferred as well as the menagerie closed down. The Lion Gate is all that remains from the area exactly where it was housed.

The Tower of London is almost certainly most renowned these days for its notorious background of gunpowder, treason, imprisonment and murder. In the early days it was utilized like a prison and spot of execution, frequently for very high profile or illustrious captives. Henry VIII had two of his wives beheaded on Tower Green Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. The Reformation was a particularly gruesome time, when hoards of political and religious prisoners were incarcerated and executed. Most likely one of the most popular is Lady Jane Grey, whom Edward VI declared his successor just ahead of his death in 1553, fearing that his personal daughter Mary would restore Catholicism. She was only a number of days into her reign when Mary took the throne from her cousin and had her imprisoned and sooner or later executed on Tower Green in 1554. Mary also famously had her half-sister Elizabeth (later to become Queen Elizabeth I) imprisoned there for three months under suspicion of plots against her. Elizabeth herself had different notables incarcerated while in the Tower on her succession towards the throne after Mary's death from aristocrats and dukes to clergymen and bishops.

Another event for which the Tower is infamously known is the mystery from the two boy princes within the 1480s. The two sons of Edward IV, Edward V and his younger brother Richard, have been housed within the Tower by their Uncle (Richard, Duke of Gloucester) for protection right after the death of their father in 1483. Edward V was to become crowned King. Nevertheless, the Duke took the throne himself and following remaining inside the Tower for a brief while afterwards, the boys vanished. Their fate continues to be a mystery right now, even though it is commonly believed that their uncle had them murdered.

In the 17th century, the Crown Jewels had been first place on public display, and they are able to nevertheless be observed there nowadays. It was also during this period that the Tower began to become employed as an arsenal and armoury. During the 19th century, however, the Tower steadily lost a lot of its functions. As explained above, the menagerie was moved to London Zoo. The Royal Mint was moved to new buildings elsewhere within the city (despite the fact that it's now based mostly in Cardiff) as well as the War Office moved the weaponry elsewhere. This wasn't the beginning of the end for the Tower, although. In fact, it heralded a new and exciting period for the fortress. Medieval romanticism had began to become fashionable in Victorian occasions and architectural and historical interest in the Tower started to increase. The Victorians undertook an huge programme of restoration and reconstruction, paving the way for it to turn into one particular of Britain's most well-liked tourist attractions. Indeed, from the mid 19th century visitors were coming in droves along with a ticket workplace had to built at the main entrance to cope with all the crowds.

The Tower was really considerably nevertheless in use as an official public constructing even though. Even while in the 20th century, it was utilized like a prison throughout World War Two. The last execution took spot here in 1941 a German army sergeant was shot while in the grounds by firing squad for spying.

To this day, it nevertheless retains its function as being a royal residence and property with the Crown Jewels. As a result, it's nonetheless guarded by its personal ancient regiment of Yeomen Warders (far more frequently known as Beefeaters) whose function is to manual and entertain visitors as significantly because it is to defend the Tower.

Although no royals have lived at the Tower to get an extended time, it nevertheless has one particular crucial set of residents the well-known ravens. These black, long-beaked birds have been here for hundreds of years. An old legend states that Britain will never be invaded as longs as ravens stay there, so they're able to nevertheless be noticed wandering throughout the grounds these days and even have their particular guards to search following them. No-one's taking any hazards even though their wings are clipped to make sure they'll never ever leave!

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