Posts Tagged ‘Tower of London’


Lindsey: To market

May 30, 2011

We’ve heard that the markets here are just amazing, so yesterday we decided to visit one. We were planning on going to the famous Camden Market, but one of my friend’s bosses told us to skip that one (because of all the other tourists) and to go to Old Spitalfields Market instead.

On our way there, we stopped by a few other street markets that were absolutely crazy. And not good crazy. There were people everywhere and the vendors were all pretty creepy. This was about enough for us to turn around and skip Old Spitalfields, but we decided to stick it out!

When we finally found Old Spitalfields, it was amazing! It is held in a huge open-air building with vendors everywhere selling things from clothes, jewelry, art, and food. Everything is made locally by the vendors in London, so there is no way you could by these things anywhere else! We spent around 3 hours just looking at everything. If the exchange rate wasn’t so bad, I would have had to buy some more things! Here’s a picture of the market right when we walked in:

We felt like we were some of the only tourists there, which was awesome. Everyone was from London enjoying the bank holiday weekend! For lunch, we decided to try something new and try some Caribbean/jamaican wraps. They were delicious! Here’s a picture of their food stand:
Looks so good, right? Afterwards, since we were in central London, we thought it would be fun to go see the Tower of London which is the castle where many kings and queens were beheaded and where they keep the crown jewels. We were all exhausted, but decided to do it anyways. After finding our way there, we discovered it was 20 pounds for a ticket! No way. That’s like $40. Our feet hurt really bad and we were all pretty hungry, so we just decided to go home and get some much needed rest! For good measure, here’s a picture of the Tower of London (the little slits in the side of the castle walls that look like t’s is were where the guards would shoot their arrows out of if you were not welcome):

Andrea: Tower of London

February 26, 2011
The Tower has held many famous prisoners in its thousand-year history; some in astonishing comfort, and others less so. Inside the Beauchamp Tower I saw lots of prisoner graffiti…

This was carved into the wall by Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, in 1587. It says, “The more suffering for Christ in this world, the more glory with Christ in the next.”

In the infamous Bloody Tower, I learned about the murder of the Little Princes, Edward V and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York. I might have the story wrong, but from what I remember, Edward V was the eldest son of King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. He was born in 1470 and ascended the throne when his father died in April of 1483. Because he was only thirteen years old, a minor, his uncle Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was entrusted as Protector of his young nephews. Richard had always been a loyal and trusted supporter of his brother King Edward IV, who was the boys’ father. The coronation of Edward was set for June 22nd, 1483. It was tradition for the coronation procession to take place from the Tower of London, through the City of London to Westminster Abbey. Gloucester intercepted Edward’s entourage as it traveled to London. Many of the young king’s supporters were killed and William Hastings was arrested on a charge of treason and imprisoned in the Tower. Edward was escorted to London and then to the Tower. On June 16th, he was joined by his brother Prince Richard. The coronation was cancelled. In 1674 two skeletons were discovered in the White Tower under the stairs leading to the chapel. The skeletons were subsequently reburied in Westminster Abbey as ordered by King Charles II. The skeletons were believed to be the remains of the bodies of the two tragic Little Princes, who were reputedly killed on the orders of their uncle the Duke of Gloucester, afterwards King Richard III. Jerk.
Anyway, I also saw some instruments of torture in the Lower Wakefield Tower…
The Rack
The Scavenger’s Daughter
Five hundred years of spectacular royal armor are also on display, offering a fascinating insight into the personalities, power, and physical size of England’s kings. The skill of the royal armorers was to combine practical protection for tournaments and battle with amazing designs and decoration.

The Crown Jewels are one of the unmissable highlights of a visit to the Tower of London. This astonishing collection of priceless Coronation Regalia has been on public display at the Tower since the 17th century, with only one attempt to steal them! Photography was not allowed, but thanks to Google…

The ravens are one of the most famous sights at the Tower of London. Legend has it that Charles II was told that if the ravens left the Tower, the kingdom and the fortress would fall. Just in case, the Ravenmaster keeps a close eye on them. See him in the background?

Luke: Tower of London

January 28, 2011

I visited the Tower of London last week. Even though I had been there three years ago, it was well worth a second visit. It was actually getting a facelift so as to be sparkly clean for the Olympics, so a giant drawing covered the canvas draping over one side of the White Tower, showing scenes from the Tower of London’s bloody history. The chapel was actual conducting a service since it was Sunday, and Beefeaters really do live at the Tower of London with their families. Who are the Beefeaters? Well, today they are retired members of the British military who still wish to serve their country. Tourists know them mainly as their guides for visits to the Tower, though. Also housed in the Tower of London are the Crown Jewels, including Queen Victoria’s famous “mini-crown” and the crown that George VI wore to India. Many of the items there dated to the year 1661 or shortly after. This is because Oliver Cromwell and the Parliament destroyed many objects owned by the monarch or that were symbolic of the monarchy, which was restored under Charles II in, you guessed it, 1661. Some interesting traditional items were the Coronation Spoon, which is 800 years old and is now used to put oil on the new monarch during Coronation, and the Sovereign’s Orb, which is placed in the new monarch’s right hand during Coronation and represents the monarch’s role as Defender of the Faith of the Church of England. I also saw crowns containing diamonds cut from the Great Star of Africa, one of the largest diamonds ever found.

Outside, I walked on the green upon which many people were executed, including Queen Anne Boleyn, who demanded a particular style of execution, forcing King Henry VIII to get an executioner from France to come over to do the job. The oldest and tallest part of the Tower of London is the White Tower, which was built over 800 years ago under William the Conqueror. Nearby are remains from the original Roman wall which is 2000 years old. Inside is a great collection of armour and weapons from all periods of English history.

I also visited several buildings that are part of the Tower of London that have housed many famous prisoners. Sir Walter Raleigh was held at the Tower, the same one who tried to establish a colony on Roanoke Island and who, while inprisoned, wrote The History of the World. The best story about the Tower of London in my opinion is about the Princes in the Tower. The two brothers were the sons of King Edward VI and were living in the Tower of London (which was actually once a royal residence). The older one (Prince Edward, aged 13) was soon to be crowned king in 1483 after his father’s death, but that summer both he and his brother disappeared from the Tower of London, never to be seen again. Their uncle, Richard III, became king and is suspected of having the princes killed. Another suspect is Henry VII, who followed Richard III as king. He seems to have had a motive to get rid of the two boys, who were in front of him in the succession to the throne. Then again, we don’t necessarily even know that the princes were killed at all. I’d put my money on Richard III as the culprit, since the princes’ deaths directly cleared his path to immediately assume the throne.

Unfortunately this website can’t upload my pictures at the moment, so I can’t show you any. Hopefully they’ll get it fixed soon.

%d bloggers like this: