The Tower of London - Framed Print - 11" x 14"
The Tower of London - Framed Print - 11"H x 14"W
The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a castle located on the north bank of the River Thames.
It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078. The castle was also used as a prison from 1100 (Ranulf Flambard) until 1952 (Kray twins).
A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence. As a whole, the Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. There were several phases of expansion, mainly under Kings Richard the Lionheart, Henry III, and Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries.
The Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history. It was besieged several times, and controlling it has been important to controlling the country.
The peak period of the castle's use as a prison was the 16th and 17th centuries, when many figures who had fallen into disgrace, such as Elizabeth I before she became queen, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Elizabeth Throckmorton were held within its walls. This use has led to the phrase "sent to the Tower".
Anne Boleyn was beheaded in 1536 for treason against Henry VIII; her ghost supposedly haunts the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, where she is buried, and has been said to walk around the White Tower carrying her head under her arm.
Other reported ghosts include Henry VI, Lady Jane Grey, Margaret Pole, and the Princes in the Tower.
In 1816, a sentry on guard outside the Jewel House claimed to have witnessed an apparition of a bear advancing towards him, and reportedly died of fright a few days later.
In 1817, a tubular, glowing apparition was claimed to have been seen in the Jewel House by the Keeper of the Crown Jewels, Edmund Lenthal Swifte.
Other nameless and formless terrors have been reported, more recently, by night staff at the Tower.