England, London

Things To Do In London | Learn The Important Facts About The Tower of London

November 9, 2016

I visited the Tower of London the other day at around 3pm which I realized right away was a huge mistake. The Tower closes at 4:30PM during winter time so that only gave me an hour and a half to roam around the grounds of the Tower of London. I did the whole tour in such a hurry as I wanted to make the most out of my visit. However, no matter how hard I tried it definitely wasn’t enough. I need to go back soon. Good thing that I can access the Tower of London anytime and as much as I’d like since I’m holding an annual membership. I’m definitely going back there.

With the short amount of time that I spent there, these facts piqued my interest the most.

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1. Tower of London is not its official name.
The full name of the Tower of London is Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London.

2. It was never meant to be a prison.
Tower of London was originally built to be a castle by William The Conqueror. It’s also not just one tower (as I thought it was until this tour) but instead, it’s a complex of several buildings which was used for different purposes throughout the years. At some point it was an armory, a menagerie, a public record office, a prison and finally, the home of the Crown Jewels of England.

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3. The White Tower is the strongest structure in the Tower of London.
The White Tower contained lodgings for the king or his representative. The entrance to this tower is above ground and accessed by a wooden staircase which could be removed in the event of an attack. The area around the White Tower was cleared so that anyone approaching would have to cross open ground.

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4. The Tower of London is still the official residence of Her Majesty, The Queen.
The Queen has a house inside which she could still live in if she wants to. The Queen’s house is considered a silent post, where the guardย posted there is not allowed to make loud noise so as to not disturb the occupants inside.

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5. There’s an estimated GBP20 billion-worth of jewels inside the Tower of London.
Unfortunately, photos aren’t allowed inside where they keep the Crown Jewels but it is quite fascinating to see the crowns and jewelries worn by royalties.

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6. There must be at least 6 ravens to be kept in the Tower of London at all times.
It’s believed that the Tower would crumble and a great harm would befall the nation if the ravens are moved. Hence in this case, 6 ravens must always be inside the tower for superstitious reasons. Each raven has a wing clipped to make sure they donโ€™t fly too far from home.

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7. The oldest military ceremony in the world is performed in the Tower every night.
Every night at exactly 9:53PM, a ceremony takes place to lock the Tower of London which is called the “Ceremony of the Keys”. This ceremony has been performed every single day for hundreds of years without fail. The keys however were stolen in November 2012 after a lapse in security. Immediately, locks were changed and security was increased but it’s still pretty amazing to think that someone somewhere has the original key of the Tower of London.

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8. It’s not as bloody as it was thought to be.
There were only a total of 22 executions inside the Tower of London and most of them were high-profile prisoners including Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, both were Henry VIII’s wife.

9. It’s haunted.
Anne Boleyn’s ghost is believed to haunt the grounds of the Tower of London, seen walking around the White Tower with her head under her arm. A lot of other ghosts are said to haunt the place including that of a grizzly bear.

10. It used to house a zoo.
The Tower of London once housed the Royal Menagerie of exotic animals. Lions, polar bears, elephants, ostriches etc. used to be residents of the tower.

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11. The Tower is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Tower of London served as an outstanding model of royal power throughout the kingdom from the end of the 11th century. It is also a major reference for the history of medieval military architecture.

Plan your visit to the Tower of London:

Ticket price: GBP25 per adult and GBP12 per child.
Note: Buying your tickets online is cheaper than the gate price.
I bought an annual membership with Historic Royal Palaces which is priced GBP48. With this membership, I have an unlimited access to all the 6 Historic Royal Palaces. If you plan on visiting more than one palace, the membership is absolutely worth it.
Audio guides are available for an extra fee of GBP4. This is absolutely worth it, I highly recommend that you get an audio guide during your visit.
There is a Yeoman Warder guided tours which is already included in the palace admission ticket. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do this but I do plan on joining one soon. The tour starts every 30 minutes and lasts for 60 minutes. Although I haven’t tried it myself, I’d definitely recommend that you do it as it for sure is going to be much more informative and interesting than an audio guide.

The Tower is only closed on 24-26 December and 1 January.
01 March to 31 October timings: 9AM to 5:30PM (Tuesdays to Saturdays); 10AM to 5:30PM (Sundays to Mondays)
01 November to 28 February timings: 9AM to 4:30PM (Tuesdays to Saturdays); 10AM to 4:30PM (Sundays to Mondays)

Nearest underground stations: Tower Hill (District or Circle Lines)

For more information, you can visit their website.

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26 Comments

  • Reply Belinda November 16, 2016 at 20:51

    I had no idea that the official residence of the queen is there. Great information

  • Reply Nadine Smith (Scenes From Nadine) November 15, 2016 at 10:16

    Such a fascinating place! You’re right, one hour is not enough to explore all of it! Wouldn’t it be cool if you had actually met the Queen? ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, and that story about Anne Boleyn’s ghost gave me the chills!
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    • Reply Pinay Flying High December 15, 2016 at 20:20

      One hour is not enough, I still have to go back there to see everything I need to. I just hope I’ll one day meet the Queen and that story of Anne Boleyn gave me goosebumps. Lol

  • Reply Sally November 11, 2016 at 13:21

    You always start threads and never leave a post so I’m going to come to your latest one and let you know that I do follow all of them and wow your pics keep getting better. Your doing so well and you still make the effort to help others. It doesn’t go unappreciated that I promise <3
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    • Reply Pinay Flying High December 15, 2016 at 20:21

      Thank you very much Sally, I’m so touched! It’s nice to know that it’s appreciated. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Kris November 11, 2016 at 12:36

    I leanred a lot while reading every point on the post! I always heared about the tower of london but I like how detailed the post is. I like the story of the raven..as well as the original key being stolen. Hehe!
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    • Reply Pinay Flying High December 15, 2016 at 20:22

      I think it’s interesting to know that somewhere, someone holds the original key of the tower. Lol.

  • Reply Katie November 10, 2016 at 23:03

    Thanks for sharing some facts about the Tower of London. I love it and love seeing the Crown Jewels – so much history! Also love the view of the thames you get from the defence walls ๐Ÿ™‚ great post!
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    • Reply Pinay Flying High December 15, 2016 at 20:22

      Thank you Katie, the view of the river from here is stunning. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Stacey November 10, 2016 at 21:17

    Ahhhhh I wanted to do the Tower of London when I was there but knew I needed a lot of time for it. I love all the facts. I wanted to see where the executions took place, too much of ‘the Tudors’ lol. Well I definitely need to do this next time

    • Reply Pinay Flying High December 15, 2016 at 20:25

      I need to go back and join one of the free tours they have, I missed it when I went. ๐Ÿ™

  • Reply Aleks F. November 10, 2016 at 21:11

    Really interesting post with a lot of cool facts! I didn’t know a lot about the Tower of London, like that it was haunted! But now I do so thank you for sharing! Beautiful photos and I learned something ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Leah November 10, 2016 at 20:51

    I’m an avid historical fiction reader, so this destination definitely appeals to me. I didn’t know many of these facts at all!! I love your pictures by the way, what camera do you use?

    • Reply Pinay Flying High December 15, 2016 at 20:26

      Thank you Leah, I’m using Nikon J2 and GoPro Hero 4. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Kristine November 10, 2016 at 20:25

    Great post ๐Ÿ™‚ I visited the tower of London once, a long time ago. I’m actually going to London next month ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply Pinay Flying High December 15, 2016 at 20:27

      Oh yay Kristine! I hope you’re already in London and having a fab time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Tanja (the Red phone box travels) November 10, 2016 at 16:44

    I’ve visited it on my first trip to London in 2006:) the ticket was much cheaper:) Loved seeing the crowns!
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    • Reply Pinay Flying High December 15, 2016 at 20:27

      Lol. It just keeps getting higher and higher doesn’t it? :p

  • Reply Mitzie Mee November 10, 2016 at 16:17

    Such a fascinating place. Wonder why the grizzly ghost decided to settle down in London Tower? Maybe he was from the zoo, which used to be there?:)

  • Reply Trainswestcan2espano November 10, 2016 at 07:30

    Fascinating place. Such rich history.
    Went there a few years ago, luckily caught on to a tour lead by a Befeater. Over 3 hours. Magic.

    • Reply Pinay Flying High December 15, 2016 at 20:28

      I missed it when I went. I should do it next time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Photo cache November 9, 2016 at 23:13

    What a pity you don’t get the most of your visit due to time constraints. The good thing is you live there now and you could go back over and over again.

    • Reply Pinay Flying High December 15, 2016 at 20:29

      Yes, I have a long holiday for Christmas so I’ll check it out then. ๐Ÿ™‚

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