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Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress The Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England.
It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England built by William the Conqueror in 1078.
The White Tower The massive White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078, and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite.
After his coronation in Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1066, William ordered the construction of a castle in London for his triumphal entry. • It was built by Norman masons and English (Anglo-Saxon) labor drafted in from the countryside. • It was intended to protect the river route from Danish attack, but also and more importantly to dominate the City physically and visually. The tower c. 1100
• The Tower was never primarily intended to protect London from external invasion. • Its primary function was always to provide a base for royal power in the City of London and a stronghold to which the royal family could retreat in times of civil disorder
The castle was used as a prison since at least 1100, although that was not its primary purpose.
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.
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.
The peak period of the castle's use as a prison was the 16 th and 17 th centuries, when many figures who had fallen into disgrace, such as Elizabeth I before she became queen, were held within its walls.
In the latter half of the 19 th century, institutions such as the Royal Mint moved out of the castle to other locations, leaving many buildings empty.
The First World War (1914 -18) • left the Tower largely untouched; the only bomb to fall on the fortress landed in the Moat. • the war brought the Tower of London back into use as a prison for the first time since the early 19 th century and between 1914 -16 eleven spies were held and subsequently executed in the Tower
The Second World War (1939 -45) • The last execution in the Tower took place in 1941 • Bomb damage to the Tower during the Second World War was much greater: a number of buildings were severely damaged or destroyed.
Today the Tower of London is one of the world's major tourist attractions and 2. 5 million visitors a year come to discover its long