Sunday, 4 March 2012

A Place of Intrigue: The Tower of London

"Here lands as true a subject, being prisoner, as ever landed at these stairs. Before Thee, O God, I speak it, having none other friend but Thee alone."
- Reputedly spoken by Elizabeth I when she arrived at the Tower of London as a prisoner

England. With the Tower in the background.

Castle, palace, prison; these words alone invoke grandeur with an air of expectation, anticipation and wonder. The Tower of London stands at the very heart of the capital and became the epicentre for many of the dramatic and bloody events seen in English history. The Tower was first constructed by William the Conqueror in the early 1080's and each successive monarch added to its fortifications, nothing quite like it had ever been seen in England before, it's immortalised presence dominating the skyline for miles. 

My first visit to the Tower was in 2005 and I spent an entire day walking the grounds (much to the boredom of my husband who doesn't share my passion for history) and could have spent many more. It was a crisp Autumn day and there weren't too many tourists about. The Tower seems to possess this other worldliness, as you walk over the bridge & through the gates the atmosphere seems to shift; as though you're stepping over some invisible threshold. It's no wonder with its past history that the Tower retains some of its residual memories...perhaps I was all too lost in the moment, visiting a place I had longed to since a child? To me, it just seemed alive!

The White Tower

With an anticipated move to London on the cards later this year I hope to spend many more days wondering around this wondrous place; I need more than just 1 day to fully absorb its history and it would be nice to be able to visit whenever I fancied, to take my sketchbook and stroll the grounds...

Queens House

I just wanted to share my love for the Tower of London, as grand and tragic as its past may be, I find it as equally alluring and naturally, it has one or two interesting ghost stories!

On another note, I recently I purchased 'Tower: An Epic History of the Tower of London' by Nigel Jones which I hope to read shortly (my TBR shelf is notoriously high & as I'm also working on illustrating a book at the moment, I seem to be adding to it more often than reading the books that grace its shelves). Nonetheless, this book piqued my interest and hope it lives up to my expectations...

1 comment:

  1. This post was a wonderful surprise! We didn't get to visit the Tower grounds in 2006, but I have always wanted to. Maybe some day I will?
    ~S. xo