Tower of London Tower Hill, London, England * 7680 9004 * Tower of London website * 12.50 pounds entrance fee
One of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites as well as One of the most essential sites to see in London according to most guides … and the outlook to some of London’s most barbaric and gruesome history. Beginning in 1078 when WIlliam the Conqueror laid the first stone of the White Tower to replace the timber-and-earth castle that he originally built on the spot. By 1285 there was two walls with towers and a moat as is atypical of most medieval fortifications. Starting out as a royal residence, treasure mint, and arsenal – it became the most famous prison in England when Henry VIII moved to White Hall Palace in 1529. The most striking part of the complex is the White Tower in the center of the courtyard with its solid Romanesque architecture and four turrets which is now a museum. The scaffold setup by Henry is where seven people were beheaded among them Anne Boleyn and her cousin Catherine Howard (his 2nd and 5th wives). The Waterloo Barracks is where the Crown Jewels are now protected. On the other site of the tower is the Bloody Tower where the 12 year old Edward V and his brother were held for their safety and later murdered by Richard III.