From its completion in 1098 to 1310, it's believed that nothing stood taller than the 27 metre White Tower. It was finally, and hugely, superseded by the medieval St Paul's, which climbed to 150 metres.
It's crammed with memorials, photos and other items from the Tower's history.
More properly called the Yeoman Warders, the Beefeaters tend to wear the dark blue and red uniforms shown on the left. The more ornate uniform, known as Tudor State Dress, is used when the sovereign is at the Tower or during other formal occasions. It is little changed from the Tudor era.
Much myth and mystery surrounds the ravens, but their association with the Tower is probably more recent than most people realise. Links with tragedy had been around for a while (see the end of the article), but the idea that the kingdom might fall without the ravens at the Tower only gained widespread currency in the 1940s. It was tested in 1946, when the last remaining bird disappeared. The Tower lasted four months without any ravens before new birds were acquired.
21 executions are known to have occurred inside the Tower precincts. 11 of these were in the 20th century — mostly spies from the first world war. Nearby Tower Hill was, however, the scene of hundreds of executions in earlier centuries.
The monobrowed Nazi was captured in Scotland in 1941 and briefly imprisoned at the Tower. He would spend the rest of his life behind bars, dying in 1987 at the age of 93 in Spandau prison.
The brothers were locked up for a few days in 1952 for dodging National Service. They were among the last people to be held at the fortress.
We passed this on to the Tower's Raven Master, who described it as 'Yet another lot of Raven mumbo jumbo'.
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