5 Interesting Facts About The Tower of London
The Tower of London had 3 million visitors in 2019 (aah the good old days before Covid shut down travel and tourism)! The Tower attracts so many visitors because of it’s fascinating, frightening history and it’s remarkable size, structure, and legends. There are many reasons to go see this amazing place for yourself. At LetzGo we have several London tours, so read on!
We must admit we think our VIP tour of the Tower of London is something special. Our expert local guides give you interesting and entertaining historical commentary and anecdotes for two and a half hours. You also get a private encounter with one of the famous Yeoman Warders (a.k.a. “Beefeaters”), but you also get early morning admission to the Tower of London, the White Tower and the Crown Jewels. You even get a chance to enter the Raven House as an additional highlight. We offer all this to small group sizes to keep the experience intimate and authentic.
Still not convinced you should visit on your London tour? Let us share with you some of our favourite facts about the ever fascinating Tower of London:
- William the Conqueror built the Tower of London in 1066 A.D., after the Norman conquest of England. It’s over 900 years old, and has served as a temporary royal residence to some of England’s famous monarchs – including Henry VIII.
- Many people were imprisoned and tortured here – from the lowly peasants to the deposed monarchs of history. Perhaps two of the most famous members of the Royal family ever imprisoned here were the two young princes – Edward (aged 12) and Richard (aged 9). The history is a bit foggy, but there is no record of the young princes ever leaving the Tower alive, and are thought to have been killed by their ruthless uncle, Richard III, in the 1400s.
- Yeoman Warders, also known as Beefeaters, are the official guardians of the Tower. This is one of the oldest held offices in England. In the early days of this office, the Beefeaters were the guardians, and also sometimes assisted with torture and interrogation. Today, however, they are guides and historians of the Tower of London, and they are known for giving exceptional tours. The Beefeaters today are men and women drawn from England’s armed forces with at least 22 years of service.
- The mysterious history of how the Ravens came to be at the Tower of London remains a mystery. There is a flock of 7 ravens at the Tower, cared for by the Yeoman Raven Master. Legend says that at least 6 ravens must reside here at all times, otherwise the Tower and the Monarchy collapse. In January 2021, the Tower’s “queen” raven Merlina disappeared, and is thought to have passed away. Luckily she was soon replaced. Merlina’s disappearance did cause some nervousness among the Tower, as it seemed to be a bad omen.
- Why are the Yeoman Warders called “Beefeaters”? There is much speculation on this topic and there is no clear agreement on what the answer may be! One theory is that it comes from the French for “Buffetier”. Meanwhile, another theory posits that they are called this because they were paid in beef for their service.
Next time you are planning your travels and adventures and you are searching for the best London tours, remember LetzGo City Tours. We can offer your an exclusive and authentic experience with the VIP Tower of London tour ,with added highlights of having a private encounter with a Beefeater and much more!
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