The Tower of London arose as a result of the fight concerning who would succeed King Edward the Confessor as the next King of England. King Edward had initially promised William I, the Duke of Normandy, that he would have the throne upon King Edward’s death. However, upon his deathbed, he was persuaded to relinquish the throne to his brother-in-law Harold, Earl of Wessex, who was English. This enraged Duke William, who led his army into England from France to obtain what he considered was his rightful throne. He easily defeated Earl Harold at the Battle of Hastings and was crowned King of England on Christmas Day. However, Duke William-who was now called King William the Conqueror-was in a country that was largely hostile toward him. In order to provide protection for himself, he built wooden forts across the country. Realizing that he needed a more permanent structure to show the English he was there to stay, and in case of a large attack, he decided to build a fortress to protect himself.On the north bank of the Thames, he commenced the building of this fortress with a large stone tower that would become known as the White Tower. This site, in the southeastern corner of London, was optimal for numerous reasons. The Romans had already built over five kilometers of fortified stone walls in their ancient city of Londinium.1 One of the stronger parts of the wall came to that area of the Thames. Therefore, William the Conqueror needed only to dig two ditches and fill them with water for the other two sides of his fortress-the Thames and the Roman wall already served as two of the sides. In addition, this hill overlooked London, thus making it a perfect place from which to repel enemies. The Tower was completed approximately twenty …
…egend that if the Tower is ever without the ravens, then Britain would fall.8 The Tower of London contains many exhibitions detailing the Tower’s place in history. There are also multiple special events, such as “living history” events and historical reenactions. Today, the Tower faces many environmental threats. Air temperature, car exhaust, water, and light are all continually damaging the Tower. The Tower is protected and conserved by the Historic Royal Palaces organization. This monument is one of the oldest and perhaps one of the most important in England’s history. Today, this incredible historical monument is visited by millions of people from across the world every year.
Hynson, Colin. The Tower of London. Milwaukee, WI: World Almanac Library, 2005.Fisher, Leonard Everett. The Tower of London. New York City: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1987.