Tower of London

Another in the  series on City of London buildings that survived the Great Fire of 1666, and that still survive to this day …

the-tower-from-the-shard

general-view-of-exterior

st-johns-chapel

The Tower of London was originally built under William I, William II and Henry I in the late eleventh to earliest twelfth century, between 1076-1101, and added to by a succession of later kings and queens, many of whom used it as a royal residence, through to the seventeenth (the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula within is arguably of even older, Saxon origin).

cell

tudor-graffito

blood-swept-lands-and-seas-of-red

The Tower features in the earliest known painting of London, by an unknown artist, dating to the late fifteenth century, and commissioned to illustrate a book of poems written by Charles, Duc d’Orleans, who was imprisoned here for twenty-five years after his capture at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.   Hundreds were imprisoned here over the centuries; and scores tortured and executed, in a variety of horrible ways – one wonders how much better a world it would have been if all the imaginative effort expended in  devising means of inflicting suffering had instead been channelled elsewhere.

 

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