Many moons ago, I was lucky enough to take a trip to London and do the touristy thing. I still do go to London, but just not as much with the sight seeing. The one trip that I wanted to make, and would like to make again is to the Tower.
In rather liking the Tudor court, you can’t really escape the Tower. Especially as there were lot of unhappy endings that happened there. Since Her Majesty keeps her shiny stuff there, even more reason to see it.
The Norman fortress is striking, a proper robust castle. Leaves the likes of Warwick well and truly in the dust. Really is a proper castle. I walked passed traitors gate, and stood there to take the picture. I could imagine Anne Boleyn seeing that gate-I doubt it was labelled in her time-and imagine her thinking oh dear. That was the point of no return. To see that gate, meant you were rather done for.
So walking past St.Peter’s chapel, you see the are where a scaffold would have been created. I remember there being a glass pillow next to the sign. I cannot imagine, the horror of those executions, the sheer public spectacle of it all. Thankfully, Her Majesty doesn’t have that power any more. I can’t imagine her signing the Act of Attainder over her cornflakes.
Reading the ‘Shardlake’ series, the Tower features prominently. Even describes the menageries. And walking around, you do wander how they kept the lions safe. That would be altogether rather scary. You have to sample both the Tower, and also Hampton Court, to get a better idea of the Tudor court. Wandering around there, and at Hampton court, you can imagine the daily life within the two places. These weren’t just protection facilities, they were homes. They are epic edifices, and I’d recommend going to both. If you take a look at the website for http://www.hrp.org.uk/ that has a lot of useful information on there. I also recommend Kensington palace. That was another day trip. Checked out the dresses that were on show at the time. Plus, you get to see all the Queen Victoria stuff. To think that she and I are the same height, four foot eleven. Though I do have half an inch on her, to be fair. She was tiny! And there is a rather nice garden there.
When you see the size of the Kitchen’s at Hampton Court, you realise how Henry might have got so big.
Recently, the tower was home to the poppy art installation. Sadly, I haven’t been able to go see it. I do hope to visit the tower again, and even Hampton court.