The Tower of London is more like the Castle of London! It is located near the London Bridge and the Thames River. The Duke of Normandy authorized the first purchase of the first tower in 1078!
The London Tower has multiple uses, it had a wide collection of animals; such as monkeys, snakes, polar bears and lions. The first documented lion in the Tower was in 1210.
Another interesting fact about the Tower is that Sir Issac Newton lived in the outer part of it and designed the royal mint, the kind of money England uses today. Sir Issac Newton developed the rough edges on coins because people were taking chunks off of coins and trying to make their own. This was his way of making sure people could not reproduce coins.
The Tower also housed the Beefeaters, which were the guardians of the Tower. They were in charge of watching the grounds as well as the Royal Jewels.
When Kings and Queens were coronated they used Royal jewels for each coronation. These jewels were created in the tower back in 1303. In 1649, the oringinal jewels were destroyed following the Civil War. In 1661, the jewels were remade for Charles II. The former Queen was coronated on June 2, 1953 in Westminister Abbey with the Crown Jewels.
Things were not always pretty and shiny though… The Tower was also home to the state prison and had its own torture tower. This section was called the Bloody Tower. There was mention of many deaths in the tower such as beheadings, burnings, and many other gruesome things. People were brought to an area to be beheaded, then dragged back down to the Tower where their head was on display to show others the authority they had.
There are many myths and legends about the Tower. Some of which we have no idea if they are true or not, but one thing is for sure, this place has a lot of history, some amazing things to learn about, and some pretty beautiful jewels.
Written by Jill Thompson and Rachel Hayes!