The Tower of London Essay

5058 WordsDec 25, 200621 Pages
The Tower of London: A Landmark Alive With History The Tower of London is one of the most famous and visited historic monuments in the world. For some people it conjures up images of Norman architecture and towering battlements, but most associate it with arms and armour, ravens, the Crown Jewels, Yeoman Warders, imprisonment, death and ghostly apparitions. But this does not do it justice: the history of the Tower and its buildings is a vast, fascinating and complex subject, intertwined with the history of the country of England, its government, its kings and queens, and its people and institutions. The castle's first four centuries, during the Middle Ages, saw the development of the layout of buildings that we know today and its…show more content…
The White Tower was protected to the east and south by the old Roman city walls, while the north and west sides were protected by ditches and an earthwork with a wooden wall on top. The tower was reinforced on the two western corners by square turrets, by a round tower housing the main staircase on the north-eastern corner, and by a half-round projection housing the chapel on the south-eastern corner. Inside, each of the building's four levels was divided into three parts. The lowest level contained access to the well while the main entrance was situated on the floor above and reached by a timber staircase. In the 12th century a 'fore-building' was added to the south front of the White Tower to protect the entrance. From very early on the enclosure contained a number of timber buildings for residential and service use. It is important for us today to remember that the functions of the Tower from the 1070s until the late 19th century were established by its Norman founders. The Tower was never primarily intended to protect London from external invasion, although, of course, it could have done so if necessary. Nor was it ever intended to be the principal residence of the kings and queens of England, though many did in fact spend periods of time there. Its primary function was always to provide a base for royal power in the City of London and
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