TOWER OF LONDON:
THE Tower of London is a castle located in London alongside the River Thames which was first built by William the Conqueror from c. 1077 CE and significantly added to over the centuries. Often referred to in England as simply ‘the Tower’, it has served as a fortress, palace, prison, treasury, arsenal, and zoo. Fallen kings, queens, and traitors were amongst those sent to the Tower, although surprisingly few inmates were executed within the castle’s grounds. Today, it is a major tourist attraction with visitors eager to experience for themselves a place steeped in the history of England like no other, to admire the picturesque Beefeaters, and be dazzled by the fabulous Crown Jewels.
When William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy won the Battle of Hastings in 1066 CE and embarked on the Norman Conquest of England, the new king sought to make his realm secure by building motte and bailey castles at strategically important locations. London was an obvious choice for a new castle and so work began on what would become the Tower of London around 1077 CE. The castle was one of the first in England to have a free-standing tower keep or donjon.
Work continued until c. 1100 CE using Kentish ragstone with details using dressed limestone from Caen in Normandy, and by the time it was finished, the two-storey rectangular tower was so impressive it gave its name to the whole castle: the Tower of London. The keep only received its now-famous name, the White Tower, thanks to a whitewashing project in 1240 CE using white lime.