Facts on the Tower of London

Facts on the Tower of London
Initially constructed in the 11th century, the Tower of London has been expanded and used by the English monarchy as a fortress, prison and execution house. Today, visitors can tour the grounds and see the historical landmark for themselves.

Origin

The beginnings of the Tower of London wecan be traced to William the Conqueror, a Norman who invaded and won control of England in 1066 after the Battle of Hastings. The first permanent part of the structure, the White Tower, was built in 1076. William intended for the tower to function as a fortress to protect his new territory

Prison

Throughout its history, the Tower of London has been used as a prison and execution site for famous inmates including William Hastings, Mary Queen of Scots, Sir Thomas More and King Henry VI.

Location

The Tower of London sits alongside the River Thames in the southeast corner of the city.

Composition

The tower is actually composed of 20 individual towers, including Devereux Tower, Flint Tower, Bowyer Tower, Brick Tower and Bloody Tower. The largest and most famous, the White Tower, sits in the center of the complex.

Size

The group of towers that make up this landmark occupies 18 acres of land. The White Tower alone reaches a height of 90 feet and a width of 118 by 107 feet.

Tourism

The Tower of London is a popular tourist destination, managed by Historic Royal Palaces. Tours are available for individuals, families and large groups every day, year 'round.

Article Written By Tom Ryan

Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

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