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Did You Know: Tower of London
Did you know that the Tower of London was built in the 1070’s and was commissioned by William the Conqueror. Williams white tower is built of a luminous stone called Caen stone and is said to have been built to inspire awe and terror in those who see it. The Tower as it is completed today was finished in the 1350’s by Henry III and his son Edward I, successors of William the Conqueror. Did you know that Henry III and Edward I added not only accommodations of the Royal kind, but also one of the major branches of the Royal Mint and most fascinating was the lion menagerie. Were the lions added as a way to strike fear into the hearts of those who entered?
Did you know the Tower of London has been not only a fortress, but a royal residence, home to the Crown Jewels and the Royal Mint, but also a warehouse of sorts for military weapons and its most notorious occupation a prison. Did you know that two Princes were said to have been slain in the tower by their evil Uncle? Twelve year old Prince Edward along with his younger brother Richard were both imprisoned by the Duke of Gloucester their Uncle. The young princes were never seen again and sometime in the 1600’s two small skeletons were found buried beneath a staircase, believed to be the Two Prince of the Tower.
Did you know that one of the most gruesome and bloodiest times at the Tower was during Henry the VIII reign? Many political and religious prisoners were held and tortured and numerous amounts killed in the aftermath of Henry the VIII’s break with the Roman Pope. One of the most noted prisoners of this time was Henry’s own second wife, Anne Boleyn, it was believed that she was originally imprisoned for not giving the King a male heir, but since that was not a reason abided by to throw someone in prison she was accused of incest and adultery and then beheaded leaving Henry free to find his comfort and possible male heirs elsewhere.
Did you know that if the Tower of London is ever devoid of Ravens the Tower and the British monarchy will fall? It is not really know when this royal fantasy began but it is believed that during Charles the II rein his astronomic observer, John Flamsteed could not perform his duties due to the massive amount of ravens amongst the Tower and is said to have begged Charles to remove the beasts. Charles then is said to have ordered the execution of the ravens but was waylaid by someone within the Tower and told that if all the ravens were to leave that he, the Tower and the British kingdom shall fall. It was then ordered that 6 ravens be kept permanently within the Tower walls, and to this day there are seven ravens that still live within the Tower, the 6 main ones and a “spare” as it were.
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