Friday, June 29, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP Day 4: Part 11: Tower of London: How was it Used?/ Bloody Tower

Bloody Tower. Credit:
Here's some interesting background on the Tower of London, and a story about Sir Walter Raleigh's ghost that supposedly haunts one room there.

DIFFERENT USES OF THE TOWER OF LONDON: The Tower has served variously as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public records office, and the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.

A STARTING POINT OF ROYAL CORONATIONS:  From the early 14th century until the reign of Charles II, a procession would be led from the Tower to Westminster Abbey on the coronation of a monarch.

UNDER THE TUDOR FAMILY (Henry VIII's lineage): The Tower became used less as a royal residence, and despite attempts to refortify and repair the castle its defenses lagged behind developments to deal with artillery.

Sir Walter Raleigh's "prison" room, nicely furnished


In the 1580's, Sir Walter Raleigh attempted to bring colonies to what would eventually become America. They landed at a small island called Roanoke Island in Virginia. He was an English aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier, courtier, spy, and explorer. He is also well known for popularizing tobacco in England.

He was considered to be connected with a plot against King James the First. The King didn't care for Sir Walter Raleigh, and when Queen Elizabeth the first died in the early 1600s, he placed (for the 2nd time)  in the Tower of London. Thirteen years later he was released and went to South America. When he returned, he was arrested and jailed in the tower.  His "rooms" are still furnished as they were in the 16th century, and can be seen when visiting the Tower today. He was executed by James I, and has been seen looking exactly as he does in his portrait hanging in the Bloody Tower. Many think ghosts will remain in a place that has great importance from their lives, thus Walter remains here because he was put in the Tower twice.

Two princes; Edward V (who was 12) and Richard Duke of York (who was 10) were kidnapped and were thought murdered in 1483 - likely by command of the Duke of Gloucestershire, who was to be crowned Richard the III.
   In the late 15th century some guards near the Bloody Tower saw shadows of two small children moving down the stairs,  wearing white night shirts  (that  they had on the night they disappeared). The two children then disappeared in the wall of the Bloody Tower.  -These children were the ghosts of the murdered young princes.
  In 1674, workmen found a chest containing two skeletons of young children (thought the remains of the princes).

TOWER LATER IN HISTORY:  In the latter half of the 19th century, institutions such as the Royal Mint moved out of the castle to other locations, leaving many buildings empty. Anthony Salvin and John Taylor took the opportunity to restore the Tower to what was felt to be its medieval appearance, clearing out many of the vacant post-medieval structures. In the First and Second World Wars, the Tower was again used as a prison, and witnessed the executions of 12 men for espionage. After the Second World War, damage caused during the Blitz was repaired and the castle reopened to the public.

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Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next