Wednesday, 4 December 2019
The Tower of London opens at 10 AM and we wanted to try to get there as close to opening as we could. We bought our ticket online to save waiting on line, plus you get a discount...win win. We took the train to Tower Hill station and popped out just after 10 AM. At least that is what this sundial told us:
We entered the gate of Tower of London around 10:45 AM. We had 15 minutes till the Yeoman Warder tour, so we walked around a bit as we waited. Tower of London was built by William I (William the Conqueror) starting in 1077. It served to keep Londoners in place as well as a lookout for seeing invaders coming up the Thames River. It was built on and built up throughout the years and has served as a royal residence, the Royal Mint, the Royal Jewel House, and as a prison / execution site for those opposing the Crown. As you can see, we arrived before the crowds.
The tours here are given by the Yeoman Warders AKA Beefeaters. Looking at this guy makes we want a G&T AKA Gin and Tonic. The tour group wasn't too big.
This is Traitors' Gate. It is the boat entrance to Tower of London from the Thames. This is the entrance used for "traitors" that were eventually executed including Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII. She was beheaded in 1533.
This is White Tower, the original structure dating from 1077 in which William the Conqueror lived. Over the years, the other walls and buildings were built around it.
The tour continued, and as as I watched our guide, I still thought of a drinking a G&T. Oh look...that is Tower Bridge behind him...pretty good shot Tim!
Here is Tower Green, the town square for those who lived in the castle. Can you see the Queen's Guard standing in front of a door straight ahead? This is still officially a royal residence.
The tour ended here and we all dispersed to enter the various buildings. We first went into the White Tower to see the armory and arsenal collection. Check out the father and son armor:
Some more nice photo by Tim.
This guy is guarding one of the doors to the crown jewels.
We did go in to see the crown jewels, but photography wasn't allowed. I "stole" these photos from the official website to show you what we saw. This is the collection of Cornation Regalia that one day will be bestowed upon Prince Charles when he becomes king. The crown is "St. Edward's Crown" and dates back to 1661. The original crown dating to the 11th-century was melted down in 1649.
And now, a bunch of Tower Bridge (not London Bridge) photos:
This photo was taken during our "Walk on the Wall" of the Tower of London:
Time to walk over Tower Bridge.
How about a photo of Tower Bridge on the south side of the Thames:
That is all for today. Tomorrow we do the Westend Walk and checkout the National Gallery. Until then...