Башня Лондона (Tower of London)

The Tower of London
Выполнил: студент 5-го курса Института филологии

германо –романского отделения

группы 505

Мирзоев Т. А.

1- Introduction – 1

2- The Bell Tower - 2

3- The bloody Tower - 2

4- The Salt Tower – 3

5- The Beauchamp Tower – 3

6- The Wakefield Tower – 4

7- The Martin Tower – 4

8- The White Tower – 5

a) Chaple of St. John The Evangelist – 5

b) The Arms and Armors (part one) – 5

c) The Arms and Armors (part two) – 6

9 The Crown Jewels – 7

10 Ceremonies – 8

a) The Ceremony of Keys – 8

b) The Ceremony of the Lilies and Roses - 9

11 Ghost stories - 10

a) The Ghost of Anne Boleyn - 10

b) Traitors’ Gate - 11

The Tower of London is a visual symbol of the Norman Conquest of England. It was built by William the Conqueror with stone that was brought over from Caen. The English do not relish the memory and like to think that the Tower went back to Romans and was founded by Julius Ceaser. This is not true, but some parts of the complex rest on Roman foundations. William I, though, brought over a Norman expert as his artificer, Gundulf, who designed the Tower. The Tower of London is considered now by the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments as "The most valuable monument of Medieval military architecture surviving in England."

The Tower was not only a fortress but eventually became a royal palace, state prison, the Mint, a record office, observatory, and zoo. As a state prison it was used for criminals considered most dangerous to the state, and the Mint was the treasury for the Crown Jewels. It became a zoo, the original Zoo, in 1834 when pets that the king had accumulated over the years were among a great diversity. The zoo consisted of lions, leopards, bears wolves, lynxes, etc.

The general appearance of this complex was much as it is today. Inside the complex, though, there have been many changes. In front of the White Tower, on the south side, there was a royal palace with private lodgings and great hall. Medieval kings often took refuge in the lodgings. Many historic events took place here too, such as the murder of the princes, Edward IV's sons. It was custom for kings and queens to spend the night, or a few days, before their coronation in these royal apartments. These royal lodgings were eventually swept away, leaving the Tower all alone.

After William the Conqueror the king that left a lasting impression on the Tower was Henry III. By 1236 he had rebuilt the Great Hall and built the Wakefield Tower next to the royal lodgings. He also built the archway to the Bloody Tower and the main angle towers along the wall.

A direct waterway entrance from the Thames onto the Tower was difficult and for a time unachievable. It wasn't until the oratory was built to the martyr St. Thomas that the foundations were ensured for such an entrance. The Water Gate, or entrance from the Thames into the Tower, later became known as Traiter's Gate. Henry III's son, Edward I, finished off the Tower.

Several episodes reveal the general history of these times. In 1244 Griffith, son of Llewelyn, the last independent Prince of Wales, attempted an escape from the Tower by making a rope out of his bedclothes, which resulted in his death after it broke. During the expulsion of the Jews in 1278, hundreds were kept in the Tower. In 1357-8 the Tower served as an arsenal. Edward III made many preparations for the French war here, which began with a naval victory of Sluys and ended up as the Hundred Years' War.

Beginning life as a simple timber and earth enclosure tucked in the south-east angle formed by the joining of the original east and south stone walls of the old Roman town of Londinium Augusta, the original structure was completed by the addition of a ditch and palisade along the north and west sides.

This enclosure then received a huge structure of stone which in time came to be called The Great Tower and eventually as it is known today

Since the first foundations were laid more than 900 years ago the castle has been constantly improved and extended by the addition of other smaller towers, extra buildings, walls and walkways, gradually evolving into the splendid example of castle, fortress, prison, palace and finally museum that it proudly represents today.

Tower of London is a complex made up of many different sections. The Tower is surrounded by a moat on three sides and the Thames River on the fourth. The outside fortifications consist of Legge's and Brass Mount. The inner fortifications, called the Ballium Wall, have 13 towers: the Bloody Tower, the Wakefield Tower, the Bell Tower, the Lanthorn Tower, the Salt Tower, the Broad Arrow Tower, the Constable Tower, the Martin Tower, the Brick Tower, the Bowyer Tower, the Flint Tower, the Devereux Tower, and the Beauchamp Tower

The Bell Tower

The Bell Tower stands in the south-west corner of the Inner Ward. It was built in the 13th century and is so called because of the belfry on top. In the past, when the bell was rung in alarm, drawbridges were raised, portcullises were dropped, and gates shut. The bell is still rung in the evening to warn visitors on the wharf it is time to leave.

Among the most famous prisoners confined to the Bell Tower was Sir Thomas More imprisoned there in 1534. More, at one time close friends with Henry VIII, refused to acknowledge the validity of the king's divorce from Queen Catherine of Aragon (thereby refusing to accept the Act of Succession) and to acknowledge him as supreme head of the Church. Catherine, it should be noted, was the daugther of Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain, known for financing the expeditions of Christopher Columbus. More was executed July 1535 and buried in St Peters Chapel.

Henry VIII's penchant for imprisoning family was not lost on his children apparently. This involved two of his daughters (by two different mothers), both of whom would one day rule. Princess Elizabeth, later Elizabeth I, was also imprisoned in the Bell Tower -- sent there in 1554 by her half-sister Mary I on suspicion of being concerned in plots against the throne.

The Bloody Tower

Originally this was known as the Garden Tower for the constable's garden that was by it. The square-shaped structure at one time served as a gateway to the Inner Ward. Its lowest level was built by Henry III and the other storeys were added later. It gained its present name in the 16th century because of the murderous deeds, which took place in its dark rooms.

The most notorious deed was the killing of the princes, Edward V and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York. This occurred in 1483 supposedly on the orders of the Duke of Gloucester, afterwards Richard III, but there are some who strongly oppose this view and name Henry Tudor, later Henry VII as the culprit.

The generally accepted version of the murder is that Elizabeth Woodville, widow of Edward IV, was forced to allow her sons to live in the Tower, ostensibly to enable the 13-year-old king to prepare for his coronation. Sir Robert Brackenbury was asked to take part in the murder but refused to help. Thereupon Sir James Tyrrell was sent to the Tower with orders to force the Constable to surrender his keys for one night. Sir James agents found the two boys asleep. One was suffocated with a pillow while the other boy was stabbed to death. The murderers carried the bodies down the narrow stairway and buried them under a covering of rubble in the basement. They were later reburied by Sir Robert Brackenbury close to the White Tower, but all knowledge of the graves was lost. In 1674 skeletons of two boys were unearthed near the White Tower, and in the belief that the grave of the princes had been found the king ordered the bodies to be moved to Westminster Abbey.

Many other figures in history suffered imprisonment or death in the Bloody Tower. Archbishop Cranmer and Bishops Ridley and Latimer who were condemned to death for heresy in 1555, were imprisoned in the Tower before being burned at the stake at Oxford. Henry Percy died there in mysterious circumstances in 1585. The infamous Judge Jeffreys was prisoner here as well. Sir Thomas Overbury, poet and courtier, was a victim of court intrigue. His food is supposed to have been poisoned, and he is supposed to have swallowed enough poison to have killed 20 men before he died in 1613.

Sir Walter Raleigh spent most of his 13 years of imprisonment in the Bloody Tower, but he was able to perform many scientific experiments. He is credited with having discovered a method of distilling fresh water from salt water. Also during his imprisonment he wrote his vast History of the World which was published in 1614, four years before he was beheaded at Westminster.

The Salt Tower

This tower, yet another built by Henry III, about 1235 was used in later days as a prison for Jesuits. It contains a number of interesting inscriptions, the most notable being a complicated diagram cut in stone for casting horoscopes. The inscription records that "Hew Draper of Brystow made this sphere the 30 daye of Maye anno 1561". Draper was imprisoned for attempted witchcraft in 1561.

In several places on the walls a pierced heart, hand, and foot have been carved. This symbol signifies the wounds of Christ. As in other towers where the Jesuits were imprisoned. The monogram I.H.S, with a cross above the H, occurs in several places -- the sign made by the Society of Jesus.

The Beauchamp Tower

Henry III and his son, Edward I, are to be attributed to the creation of the Beauchamp Tower. Henry III is responsible for many of the towers and structures in the Tower of London, with eight wall towers built during the latter part of his reign. It was during Edward's reconstruction of the western section that he replaced a twin-towered gatehouse built by Henry with the Beauchamp Tower around 1275-81.

Architecturally, the large amount of brick used, as opposed to solely that of stone, was innovative at its time for castle construction. The tower takes its name from Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, imprisoned 1397-99 by Richard II. The three-storey structure was used often for prisoners of high rank.

Of special interest are the inscriptions carved on the stone walls here by prisoners. The most elaborate is a memorial to the five brothers Dudley, one of whom was Lord Guildford Dudley, husband of Lady Jane Grey. This unhappy pair were executed in 1554.

The Wakefield Tower

Opposite Traitors Gate is the Wakefield Tower built in the early 13th century. Here the Crown Jewels were housed from 1870 until 1967. The tower has 2 chambers, the ground floor acting as a guardroom to the postern which led to the royal apartments above. These apartments were destroyed by Cromwell. The upper floor now contains a large and magnificent octagonal vaulted chamber in which there is an oratory.

Wakefield Tower was probably named after William de Wakefield, Kings Clerk and holder of the custody of the Exchanges in 1334. In the 14th century the State records were transferred to the Wakefield Tower from the White Tower, and in surveys of the period the building is referred to as the Records Tower.

Henry VI died in the Wakefield Tower on May 21st 1471. Henry VI, who was also founder of Eton College, and of Kings College, Cambridge, is supposed to have been murdered on the orders of the Duke of Gloucester, later Richard III.

The Martin Tower

Built by Henry III this tower is famous as the scene of Colonel Thomas Bloods fruitless attempt to steal the Crown Jewels. After the Restoration, the newly-made regalia was kept in the Martin Tower (known at the time as the Jewel Tower) in sole custody of the Deputy Keeper of the Jewels, a man named Talbot Edwards who lived with his family in the tower.

Blood, disguised as a clergyman, became very friendly with Edwards, even to the point of proposing a marriage between the old mans' daughter and a supposed nephew of his. Early on a May morning in 1671, the colonel appeared by appointment with his "nephew" and a friend to arrange the marriage. While awaiting the ladies, Blood suggested that his friends might see the Crown Jewels. As soon as the chamber was opened Edwards was attacked and badly injured. Blood hid the State Crown beneath his cloak; one accomplice slipped the Orb into his breeches, while the other began filing the sceptre in half to make it more portable. They were then unexpectedly disturbed by Edward's son returning from abroad and a running fight followed during which all three were captured.

Blood eventually obtained an audience with Charles II to whom he remarked that "it was a gallant attempt." Charles -- with uncharacteristic leniency -- immediately pardoned Blood, granted him a pension and promised that his Irish estates, seized at the Restoration, would be restored.

Edwards, on the other hand, was granted 200 pounds by the Exchequer and his son was given 100 pounds. The old man, however, was forced to sell off his expectation for half its value, and he died of his injuries soon afterwards.

The White Tower

The great central keep was built by William the Conqueror and finished by his sons and successors, William Rufus and Henry I. It is 90 feet high and is of massive construction, the walls varying from 15 feet thickness at the base to almost 11 feet in the upper parts. Above the battlements rise four turrets; three of them are square, but that on the Northeast is circular. This turret once contained the first royal observatory.

The original single entrance was on the south side and it was reached by an external staircase. There were no doors at ground level. The walls on the upper floors were penetrated by narrow slits positioned in wide splays. On the southern side, four pairs of original double slits remain. In late 17th and early 18th centuries all others were replaced by Sir Christopher Wren with the windows seen today.

In the White Tower the medieval kings of England lived with their families and their court. Here was the seat of government and here the laws of the land were made. The royal family lived in the top storey; the council chamber was on the floor below. In this chamber in 1399 Richard II was forced to sign away his throne, and in 1483 Richard III summarily sentenced Lord Hastings to death.

Chapel of St. John the Evangelist

On the first floor of the White Tower is the exquisite Chapel of St John the Evangelist where the royal family and the court worshipped and where the knights of the Order of the Bath spent their vigil the night before a coronation. It is one of the most perfect specimens of Norman architecture in Great Britain. Roman influence can also be found in the White Tower's basement where there is two-millennium-old well. The White Tower also contains one of the finest collections of arms and armour in the world.

The Arms and Armour (Part One)

The White Tower and the New Armouries contain the national collection of arms and armour. As the most important fortress in the kingdom, the Tower must have held armour and arms from the time it was first built, but in their present form the Armouries date from the time of Henry VIII. The collection -- one of the greatest in the world -- illustrates the development of arms and armour from the Middle Ages to 1914.

The White Tower is entered through the Tournament Room. The display here is devoted entirely to armour specially designed for use in warlike exercise. This collection includes the tilt armour for the German form of joust known as the Scharfrennen, in which sharp lances were used, and the splendid Brocas helm. The armour was made about 1490 in Germany for use at the court of Emperor Maximillian I; the tilt helm was probably made in England in the same period.

In tournaments mounted men ran different courses against each other, each course requiring armour of a special design. Men also fought against one another on foot and this required armour of yet another pattern. The Armouries contain three foot-combat armours made for Henry VIII, the first dates to about 1512 and the second about 1515, when he was slim and active. The third one was made in 1540 when he was forty-nine and very portly. The middle armour is remarkable in that all the plates fit together, over flanges, thus enabling his height of six-feet one-inch to be accurately determined.

In the adjacent room the collection of hunting and sporting arms includes crossbows and firearms. Here can be traced the technical advances in firearm mechanisms, from the match lock, the snaphance and the wheel lock to the flintlock. The development of decorative techniques is also evident. Craftsmen applied or inlaid precious metals, ivory, bone and even mother-of-pearl to enhance the wood they carved and chiselled with such consummate skill; the contemporary artistic styles from the 15th to the 19th centuries can thus be compared.

An especially interesting exhibit is the elegant silver-decorated sporting gun made in Dundee in 1614. It came from the personal gun-room of Louis XIII of France. Another unique exhibit is the Scottish gun made entirely of engraved brass for Charles I when he was a young man. Through the Chapel of St John is the Mediaeval Room, which is now devoted to the earliest arms and armour in the Tower. The exhibits are mostly of the late 14th and 15th centuries and include a superb Italian visored bascinet with its original neck protection of mail. There is also one of the few Gothic horse armours surviving. It was probably made to order for Waldemar VI of Anhalt-Zerbst (1450-1508).

The Arms and Armour (Part Two)

In the adjoining Sixteenth-century Room, fine arms and armour date from that century, but exclude English products. Most conspicuous is the massive suit of German armour made around 1540 for a man nearly seven feet tall. From the middle of the century is the splendid Lion Armour embossed with lions masks and damascened in gold.

On the top floor, the Tudor Room is devoted mainly to the armours made in the royal workshops at Greenwich which Henry VIII established about 1514. They include four armours made for the king himself -- one engraved and silver plated -- and others made at Greenwich for Tudor courtiers. There is an armour made for one of Elizabeth I's favourites, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, another for William Somerset, Earl of Worcester, another for Sir John Smythe, who vainly championed the use of the long bow many years after its inevitable super-session by firearms.

In the adjoining Stuart Room are beautiful little armours made in France and England for the Stuart kings and princes and the London-made harquebus armour of James II. They are the focus of a display devoted to the 17th century -- the last period before armour ceased to be used. Separate displays are devoted to the armour, arms and accoutrements of the richly equipped bodyguards, the light and heavy cavalry, and the infantry. The armour of the pikemen was the last to be worn by foot soldiers before the increased efficiency of firearms made its use impractical.

In the basement is the Mortar Room, where the bronze mortars on view include one of the bores used for fireworks at the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. At the far end of the room is the entrance to the sun-crypt of the Chapel of St John, where a carved and gilt figure of the Lion of St Mark, a trophy from Corfu, is flanked by a number of the finest small cannon from the armouries collection.

In the adjacent Cannon Room the walls are hung with relics of Henry VIII's army and a great array of armour and weapons returned to the Tower after the Civil War. Here also is the greater part of the Armouries collection of cannon, including several from the ships of Henry VIII's navy.

The New Armouries comprise a red brick building close to the White Tower. On the ground floor is a representative collection of armour and arms of Africa and the Orient. It is dominated by armour for an elephant, probably captured at the battle of Plassey in 1757. One Japanese armour on view was presented to James I by the governor of Edo in 1613. Many of the later sporting firearms on the first floor are of the highest quality. The flintlock guns include ones given by Louis XIV to the first Duke of Richmond, another was sent by Napoleon to Charles IV of Spain, and a third with matching powder flask, pair of pistols and stirrups, was made to the order of Elizabeth, Empress of Russia. Here also are the Reverend Alexander Forsyth's own models of the percussion lock he invented after years of experiment in the Tower. Superseding the flintlock, it completely revolutionised firearms development and, consequently, the science of war.

The Crown Jewels

During medieval times Crown Jewels were the personal property of the sovereign. It was fairly common practice for the King or Queen to pawn them or use them as security for loans in time of war. Most were kept at the Tower, particularly when the sovereign was in residence there, although the Coronation Regalia was held at Westminster Abbey. Sometime after 1660, a new set of Regalia was made to replace what had been destroyed during the Commonwealth. It was at that time that the Tower became the permanent home of the Crown Jewels and put on public display.

The Crown Jewels are what most visitors to the Tower of London come to see. This incomparable collection of crowns, orbs, swords, sceptres and other regalia, and gold and silver plate was refashioned in 1661 after parliament had ordered the original gold and precious metals to be melted down for coinage in 1649.

The Imperial State Crown worn by monarchs at their coronations is set with jewels of great antiquity and historical significance. The oldest is Edward the Confessor's sapphire, believed to have been worn by him in a ring. The great gem above the rim is the ancient balas-ruby, known as the Black Prince's ruby, which is said to have been given to him by Pedro the Cruel of Castile.

From the intersections of the arches hang four superb drop pearls, the so-called Queen Elizabeth's Earrings, but there is no evidence that she ever wore them in this way. Set in the rim at the back of the crown is the Stuart sapphire. It is probably much older than its name implies, but is known to have been in the possession of James II when he fled to France after his deposition. It was formerly mounted in the rim, at the front, but was displaced by the Second Star of Africa cut from the Cullinan diamond. In addition to these jewels, the Imperial State Crown contains over 3,000 diamonds and pearls, as well as fine sapphires, emeralds, and rubies.

The Crown Jewels have in the past resided in both the White Tower and in the Martin Tower. Today they have their home in Jewel House which is a part of the Waterloo Barracks (left side of photo). (Greeley/Gilmore)

The Royal Sceptre with the Cross is a rod of chased gold, with the peerless Star of Africa cut from the Cullinnan diamond held in a heart shaped mount. Above this is a superb amethyst with a diamond-encrusted cross set with an emerald.

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother's Crown was made for her coronation as queen consort in 1937. This graceful crown is set with diamonds, dominated by the famous Koh-i-noor. Its Indian name means "Mountain of Light" and the jewel has a long and turbulent history. Tradition says that its male owners will suffer misfortune, but women who possess it will rule the world.


These are some of the ceremonies that take place at the Tower of London.

Ceremony of Keys

The traditional locking up of the Tower of London each night. This ceremony has been carried out every night for the last 700 years.

Set admit the mighty battlements of this ancient historic fortress, it is one of the oldest and most colourful surviving ceremonies of it's kind, having been enacted every night without fail for approximately seven hundred years, in much the same form as we know it today.

The exact origin of the Ceremony is somewhat obscure, though it probably dates from the time of the White Tower - the great Norman fortress commenced by William the Conqueror and completed in about 1080 AD - become regularly used as a Royal stronghold in the capital city.

As the fortifications around the Tower were increased from time to time so it became used not only as Royal residence, but also as the Mint and State Prison. The Country's gold was stored at the Tower, as were the Royal Records and Royal Regalia, and numerous historical figures were imprisoned within it's walls for political reasons, many of whom were never to emerge to freedom, dying either from natural causes or by execution on Tower Green or Tower Hill.

The surrounding populaces were not always in sympathy with activities inside the Tower, and as enemies of the King might attempt to rescue prisoners or to steal the Crown Jewels, the need for security was very great. Thus it was in olden times that every night at dusk the Gentlemen Porter - now known as the Chief Yeoman Warder - would collect an armed escort, and would Lock and secure all the gates and doors leading into the Tower, thereby making it proof against hostile attack or intrigue, This done, the Keys would be handed over to the Tower Governor for safe keeping during the night.

In 1826, the Duke of Wellington (then Constable of the Tower) ordered that the time of the Ceremony be fixed at ten o'clock each night, so as to ensure that his soldiers were all inside the Tower before the gates were locked.

Accordingly, every night at exactly 7 minutes to ten, the Chief Warder emerges from the Byward Tower, carrying the traditional lantern - still lighted with a piece of candle - and in the other the Queen's Keys. He proceeds at a dignified pace to the Bloody Tower, where an escort consisting of two sentries, - a Sergeant and a representative Drummer are marched to the outer gate. En route, all guards and sentries present arms as the Queen's Keys pass.

As the Chief Warder shuts and locks the great oak doors of first the Middle Tower and then the Byward Tower, the escort halt and present arms.

They now return along Water Lane towards the Wakefield Tower, where in the deep shadows of the Bloody Tower Archway a sentry waits and watches.

As the Chief Warder and escort approach, the sentry's challenge rings out.

"Halt!" the escort is halted.

"Who comes there?"
"The Keys" replies the Chief Warder.
"Who's Keys?"
"Queen Elizabeth's Keys" is the answer.
"Pass Queen Elizabeth's Keys - All's well".

Whereupon the Chief Warder and escort proceed through the archway towards the steps by the 13th century wall, where the Guard for the night is drawn up under an officer with drawn sword, The Chief Warder and escort halt at the foot of the steps. The Officer gives the command, Guard and Escort - present arms. The Chief Warder takes two paces forward, raises his Tudor bonnet high in the air and calls out God preserve Queen Elizabeth. The Whole Guard reply Amen, and as the parade ground clock chimes ten, the Drummer (bugler) sounds the Last Post.

The Chief Warder takes the Keys to the house of the Resident Governor, and the Guard is dismissed.

The Ceremony of the Lilies and Roses

The Wakefield Tower, built originally for defensive purposes swiftly became the Presence Chamber of Plantagenet kings. It is with an indication of this ancient role that you see it today. In a recess is the Oratory with an altar chest, bearing the likeness of King Henry VI and the Arms of Eton College and King's College, Cambridge. In front is an appraisal of the King by his confessor, John Blacman.

In 1471 King Henry VI, founder of those Colleges was held a prisoner in this tower. He was murdered at these prayers in the Oratory between eleven and twelve o'clock on the night of the 21st May. His body rests in St George's Chapel at Windsor, in which Castle he was born on the 6th of December 1421.

The King's birthday has long been celebrated by both his Colleges as Founders Day and since 1905 two Kin's Scholars of Eton have laid a sheaf of its white lilies on his tomb on that day.

Through the friendly interest of Sir George Younghusband, then Keeper of the Jewel House, King George V was graciously pleased to approve the setting of a marble tablet in the Oratory at the spot where by tradition King Henry VI met his death. Eton lilies have since been laid there in the evening of each anniversary. By the Sovereign's sanction and with approval of the Constable of the Tower, the arrangements for this annual ceremony were delegated to the incumbent Keeper of the Jewel House; and it was not neglected even during the Second World War, when HM Tower of London was restricted area and the Wakefield Tower itself was hit by a German bomb.

In 1947, the Provost and Scholars at King's College, Cambridge, secured the permission of the King and the Constable to associate King Henry's sister foundation with the ceremony. The white roses of Kings, in their purple ribbon, have since been laid alongside the Eton lilies, in their pale blue, on the Founder's stone.

The Ceremony of the Lilies and Roses. Though still a very simple one, has over the years acquired a certain form and formality. The Provost of Eton or his deputy, the Provost of King's or his deputy, and the Chaplain of the Tower are conducted by the Resident Governor and Keeper of the Jewel House, with an escort of Yeoman Warders, from Queen's House to the Wakefield Tower. The Chaplain conducts the short service and the lilies and roses are ceremoniously laid: to lie until dusk on the next day as token that King Henry's memory is ever green in the two Colleges which are perhaps his most enduring monument.

Ghost Stories

There are many stories of ghosts, poltergeists and other malevolent spirits connected to the Tower of London. Who hasn't heard the one about the headless apparition of Anne Boleyn stalking the Tower grounds at night. Who for instance, hasn't heard stories of the chained and headless Sir Walter Raliegh being seen on the ramparts close to where he was kept prisoner. The Tower of London with its 900 years of history has earned itself a multitude of spine tingling stories, mainly due to its infamous reputation as a place of execution. The following stories are different in the fact that as far as we know, they have never been told before, at least not beyond the boundaries of the Tower of London.

The Ghost of Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn, the most celebrated of the wives of Henry VIII was beheaded on Tower Green in 1536. Her ghost has frequently been seen both on the Green and more spectacularly in the Chapel Royal situated in the White Tower. It was in the Chapel that a Captain of the Guard saw a light burning in the locked Chapel late at night. Finding a ladder, he was able to look down on the strange scene being enacted within. A nineteenth century account described it thus:

Slowly down the aisle moved a stately procession of Knights and Ladies, attired in ancient costumes; and in front walked an elegant female whose face was averted from him, but whose figure greatly resembled the one he had seen in reputed portraits of Anne Boleyn. After having repeatedly paced the chapel, the entire procession together with the light disappeared. (excerpt from Ghostly Visitors by "Spectre Stricken", London 1882.)

Another account of this same story tells of how the procession always occurs on the anniversary of the terrible execution of Margaret Pole the Countess of Salisbury, in 1541. This brave old lady (she was over seventy when she was killed) suffered because of her son's (Cardinal Pole) vilification of the King Henry VIII's religious doctrines, something the Cardinal did from the safety of France. So when Henry realised that the Cardinal was out of his reach his mother was brought to the block instead as an act of vengeance. Instead of submitting weekly to the axeman however she refused to lie down and was pursued by the axeman around the scaffold. Swinging wildly he inflicted the most hideous wounds on her till at last she died.

Another sighting of Anne Boleyn is alledged in 1864 by a sentry standing guard at the Queen's house. The guard saw and challenged a white shape that appeared suddenly veiled in mist. When the challenge went unanswered the sentry put his bayonet into the figure but he was overcome with shock when it went straight through the figure without meeting any resistance. This story was corroborated by two onlookers who saw the whole event from a window of the Bloody Tower. It is not known what made the sentry and the onlookers believe that this was the ghost of Anne Boleyn but we can only accept that after 100 years of tradition it must be so.

Traitors’ Gate

The Traitors' Gate was the watergate entrance for prisoners condemned after trial at Westminster. It dates from 1240 when Henry III enlarged the fortress by building extra defence works. There is a story that when the work was nearing completion on St George's day 1240 there was a great storm that resulted in the foundation's being undermined and this resulted in the gate collapsing. When the circumstances were repeated identically a year later an inquiry revealed that a priest claimed to have seen the ghost of Sir Thomas Becket striking the walls with a crucifix. He said that the ghost was proclaiming that the new building was not for the common good but "for the injury and prejudice of the Londoners, my brethren". Since it was the King's grandfather who had caused the death of the saint he felt it was wise to include a small oratory in the tower of the new building dedicating it to Sir Thomas Becket. Even so it's rooms have always had a reputation of being haunted. Doors open and close without reason, the figure of a monk in a brown robe has been seen. Ghostly footsteps including the distinctive slap of monastic sandals are sometimes heard.