The Tower of London, founded in 1066, is a historic castle in London, its played a prominent role throughout English history, here are a few interesting facts about the Tower of London.
36 Yeoman Warders, known as Beefeaters guard the Tower of London, the Beefeaters are all senior ex-serviceman, with a minimum of 22 years service. They live within the Tower walls, in tied accommodation. Originally the Beefeaters guarded the prisoners in the tower and the crown jewels, now their role is mainly as tourist guides, many of the Yeoman Warders are interesting characters and add hugely to the experience of visiting the Tower.
The Tower of London was the tallest building in Europe for over 200 years, by 1098 it stood 27 metres tall.
The Tower is no longer occupied by the Royal Family, however it remains an official royal residence and therefore, maintains a permanent guard. Henry VIII was the last monarch to be resident in the Tower.
Legend pronounced that if the Tower’s celebrated unkindness of ravens (yes, that is the collective noun) ever leave the Tower, the kingdom will fall, however this is unlikely to happen as the Ravens have their wings clipped.
The Crown Jewels are kept in the Jewel House, the Imperial State Crown, housed in the Tower of London, contains more than 2,800 diamonds
There was an attempt to steal the Crown Jewels in 1671
The Tower of London has had some very high profile prisoners during its history, it was the favoured destination to behead subjects guilty of treason the following people were disposed of by beheading: William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings (1483), Anne Boleyn (1536), Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury (1541), Catherine Howard (1542), Jane Boleyn, Viscountess Rochford (1542), Lady Jane Grey (1554) and Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex (1601)
Rudolf Hess (one of Adolf Hitlers deputies) was imprisoned for four days in the Tower in 1941, he was the last state prisoner
The last execution was the German spy, Josef Jakobs, in August 1941, he was shot by firing squad
The White Tower has walls up to five metres thick in places
The Tower of London is often claimed to be the most haunted place in London, often frequented by a number of different ghosts
The Royal Mint was stationed in The Tower of London until 1810
Guy Fawkes was brought to the Tower on 6th November after the failed Gunpowder Plot, the scrawled signature on his full confession is on display in the Tower
In total 114 people were executed on the cobbled stones of Tower Hill
The Tower of London was bombed in both the First and Second World Wars, the bombs during the Second World War required substantially more repairs
William Shakespeare, set his play, Richard III, in and around the Tower of London