Tower of London
To us lovers of the Middle Ages, the Tower of London has stood as a grim reminder of the bloody ruthlessness of the 500 years of Plantagenet and Tudor history. In the medieval world, many were sent there to die … for torture … or to simply disappear.
But it wasn’t always so.
The Tower was built by William the Conqueror to help fortify his conquest of England. It was originally built as a defensible royal residence for the king and then evolved into a prison. Yet monarchs of the medieval period often stayed in luxurious royal apartments in the White Tower, especially before any royal coronation.
For all of its ghoulish reputation over the centuries, only seven people were actually executed within the walls of the Tower and about 400 more were executed in front of cheering crowds on the more public Tower Hill.
Today, the Tower of London maintains its fascination for history enthusiasts of all ages. That’s why e-Royalty is recommending the absorbing Facebook page, Tower of London. The Tower’s motto is, “Discover 1,000 Years of History” and their Facebook page keeps you tuned in to the Tower – its modern day happenings as well as its rich history.
For instance, the Page recently dared us to take its Twilight Tour and hear the spooky stories of the Tower after dark! I can’t wait. Only for 12s and ups though.
Much of this past year’s postings were taken up with the powerful and moving stories of the Tower Poppies when 888,246 poppies were planted in the Moat in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI. It’s an absorbing catalog of a real-time event that with the help of the Tower of London page, you felt as if you were a part of it all – even if you couldn’t be there.
The Page also announces – with great regularity I might add — who was hanged, tortured or beheaded on this date in history. Yes, many are our well-known medieval friends.
But what I have discovered through a regular checking in of this page is that there is so much more to the history of the Tower than who was imprisoned and executed there. And the Tower of London Facebook page does not disappoint in the telling of these often overlooked tales.
For instance, can you guess which medieval King built the infamous Traitor’s Gate? Or who was the first ghost to be sighted at the Tower of London? Or what mournful Queen etched her name into the walls of the Tower? Or what famous Nazi was imprisoned in the Tower?
Or did you know that the famous poet, Geoffrey Chaucer, brother-in-law to John of Gaunt through his third wife, Katherine Swynford, sister of Chaucer’s wife, oversaw the completion of The Tower Wharf? This is just a sampling of the fascinating anecdotes you’ll find on this page of the many other people connected to the Tower, from royals, to prisoners to constables to spies to the royal menagerie to Legos … and so on.
It’s a great Page to discover the full and complete history of the Tower in short, manageable bites. Many times I’ve read a brief story on the Facebook page, followed the link and spent many happy hours learning something new. That to me is the true test of a worthy Facebook page.
If you haven’t already, the Tower of London is a worthwhile Facebook page to Like to round out your knowledge of Medieval History … and to stay in touch with what’s going on at the Tower for your next visit.