The Tower of London: palace, prison and vault.
Built by William the Conqueror in 1078, the palace was one of over 35 built during his reign. Sitting on the banks of the River Thames, the Tower of London had a very strategic position and provided for the safety of the royal families.
Today, over two million tourists visit this famous fortification each year.
Inside the white tower, you will be able to see the King’s bed chamber, St. John’s Chapel, and even the Kings toilet. Although not original, it has been restored to portray what it would have been like during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307).
Perhaps the most famous roll it played in history was that of a prison from 1100 to 1952.
Its towers imprisoned famous prisoners such as Anne Boleyn, Thomas More, Sir Walter Raleigh, William Penn, and Rudolf Hess. You can still read some of the inscriptions carved into the walls by some of the those who found themselves imprisoned in these towers.
The tower also features A Museum on the torture devices that were used on prisoners at the tower. They provide a pretty gruesome look into what it was like for anyone who went against the wishes and desires of the king.
One of the most secured rooms in all of England, is the Jewel House. This is where the Crown Jewels are kept. The Crown Jewels have been kept at the Tower of London since the 1300s, after they were stolen from Westminster Abbey and recovered. There are guards, cameras and even alarms which will go off if you get too close to the displays, while you slowly move past the jewels on a moving walkway. Rings, scepters, orbs, swords, and crowns of the sovereign can be found in the Jewel House. The Jewels are a sight to see.
Entrance to the Tower is included as part of the London Pass, which includes entry into many of the most popular sites in London, but very mindful of the time, as the hours of operation can be limited.