Sunday, April 13, 2014

London Throwback: The Tower of London Part 1

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One of London's most famous landmarks, the Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history. It was besieged several times and controlling it has been important to controlling the country. The historic tower has served a variety of purpose such as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, a prison, the home of the Royal Mint, a public records office, and the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.

The Tower of London is an attraction not be missed if you're one who is interested in medieval history. I personally found the tour really enriching and I've gained vast knowledge about England from this tour. The hubz would always be glued to English medieval history programmes on History Channel and so he enjoyed the experience too. It was really crowded at the outdoor areas of the tower initially due to the beautiful weather but thankfully, we were able to tour around the place quite smoothly on the whole.




Due to the large volume of photos, my photo story for Tower of London would be separated into 2 posts. If you are interested in viewing my previous London photo stories, click the links below:

Day 1: A Walk in the Park
Day 2: St Paul's Cathedral, Millennium Bridge & Shakespeare's Globe
Day 2: Borough Market, London Bridge & Tower Bridge


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Day 3: Tower of London (20 December)


Our continental breakfast consisted of cold cuts, fruits, croissant and breakfast cereal. A real minimalist affair though much healthier.




I was really thrilled when I drew the curtains open and saw the sight that greeted me -- brilliant sunny day in a cold wintry London!




I hadn't intended for a pink OOTD theme that day but when the hubs asked, I decided to annoy him by being lame. I told him that I had to be in cheery pastel colours as the Tower of London was a gloomy place. He simply went -_-|||.

Armani Exchange pink tee worn over no label white 3/4 sleeves top. Sovil Titus bracelet watch has a pink face. On my hair was Fleurfaerie light pink Silk Chiffon Flower Hair Tie.




As if those pink weren't enough! For outer wear, I had on my pink marshmallow jacket with a pink knitted scarf which my friend renzze had kindly lent. Ah yes, you would see the photo of these rune-like inscriptions much later on. For now, please focus on my outfit. Thank you. 。◕‿◕。




As usual, the Underground was our mode of transport. It brought us to Tower Hill Station which was just outside the Tower of London.




Hubz and I felt so thrilled basking in the resplendent sunshiny day outside the Tower with the Port of London Authority Building behind.




A huge sundial.




What a beautiful day!




I often see contrails (jet trails) in the clear blue skies without being able to see the jets. They must have been really far away.




Brilliant crepuscular rays.




A beautiful day to ice skate! I wondered how it felt like to ice-skate outdoors. The last time I ice-skated was some 10 years ago?




Chi cats would be leaving their paw prints at the Tower of London in no time.




Kh looked so intellectual here...




... and then so silly here roaring at the lion sculptures. (More on the sculptures later!)




Everyone was crowding around a Yeoman Warder aka Beefeater. Free guided tour is provided in the ticket price but we had to break away from the crowd as we could hardly hear anything from where we were.




Top L-R: Middle Tower 1280, Byward Tower 1280, Bell Tower 1190
Bottom L-R: Bloody Tower 1225, Wakefield Tower 1220--1238, a more closed up view of Bloody Tower




Various names of towers greeted us even before we entered the main area of the compound. I got quite confused exactly how many towers are there in the Tower of London and what their significance were across various eras. For a step-by-step the major events in the history of the Tower of London, I found this Historic Royal Palaces Tower of London link really useful. Also, this map as seen below --showing the various towers in Tower of London at a glance-- helps a lot in navigating yourself as you read on. I wished I had found this map when I was there touring the towers!




A siege catapult.




Many prisoners of the Tudors entered the Tower of London through the Traitors' Gate. The gate was built by Edward I, to provide a water gate entrance to the Tower, part of St. Thomas's Tower, which was designed to provide additional accommodation for the royal family. The gate area was totally dry during our visit.




St Thomas Tower.




Yikes!




Double yikes!




The White Tower is a fortress of enormous proportions, symbolic of William the Conqueror’s fierce suppression of a newly conquered capital. It is the oldest medieval building at the Tower. Read more about The White Tower here and here.




Let's take in all the beautiful outdoor sights around The White Tower.




Curious-looking trees.




What a pleasant little residential area amidst surrounding of the stony towers. I wondered who lived there? The Yeoman Wardens?




A spiffy modern circular memorial marks the approximate spot where executions were done inside walls of the Tower of London. Designed by British artist Brian Catling, the monument focuses on the ten executions that had taken place on Tower Green, within the Royal castle’s walls. In the middle of this monument is a glass pillow and around the circle are the names of those executed on the Tower green.




These buildings reminded me of those houses in Holland.




I thought that ravens were bad omen in stories, or was it crows? The ravens of the Tower of London are a group of captive Common Ravens which live in the Tower of London. Legend has it that the kingdom and the Tower will fall if the six resident ravens ever leave the fortress. Read more about these ravens here and here.




The walls of The Beauchamp Tower, especially on the first floor, are covered in graffiti left by Tudor prisoners. The ground floor houses the 'Prisoners of the Tower' exhibition.




In Elizabeth’s reign (1558-1603), Sir Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, was held for 10 years and died a prisoner and under James I's reign (1603-25), Lord Cobham spent the last 14 years of his life here. In 1553, Robert Dudley, Elizabeth I's childhood sweetheart, was imprisoned here for one year.




These are some graffiti left behind by the prisoners of the tower. Somebody actually wrote a very detailed blog post about the graffiti at the Tower of London.




When I think of GRAFFITI, ancient rune-like inscriptions certainly do not pop up in my mind. These powerful and often beautiful inscriptions record the heartache, unwavering faith and the patience of some of the Tower's prisoners.




Photo bombed!




Gotta tread carefully so as not to disturb the ghosts of the tower.




The guard simply marched to and fro for as long as I could see.




Next up was The Crown Jewels tour. For security reasons, photographing them is prohibited. These crown jewels are really beautiful. Those images in Google aren't even half as beautiful as the real ones we behold with our very own eyes.




Outside the tower that houses The Crown Jewels.




Life-sized baboon sculptures outside the jewel house were part of the many wire mesh sculptures created by artist Kendra Haste. Besides the life-size lions and baboons you had seen so far, there are other beasts of the Royal Menagerie such as a polar bear and an elephant constructed with Kendra's trademark material-- galvanised wire. All of Kendra's sculptures will remain installed in their present locations at the Tower, a World Heritage site, for the next ten years.




The Maltese Cannon.




"A Wardrobe Tower?" shrugged kh. He felt I needed a tower for my wardrobe too.
The Wardrobe Tower is only preserved as a ruin. It is named after the Wardrobe, the personal household of an English king, whose goods and utensils, including the Crown Jewels, were temporarily stored in the Tower. The still existing remains are about 2 feet tall, and are made ​​of natural stone and brick.




The Royal Armouries was where we spent the most time at. I will write about that in the next post!




This coming week would be a super busy and hectic work week for me due to the Good Friday Public Holiday. I hope to be able to blog after that. Till then!!!



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54 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, so many towers!!! Hours of towers!!! I had no clue. And that pointy park bench seems a bit goth for my taste :) Did you 2 take rides on the catapult? I have been told London is a good place for a fling so I am guessing that is what they meant :). Wonderful collection of photos, dear. Great post :)

    http://downwithpants1969.blogspot.com/

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    1. I love your rhyme and your lame double meaning joke! I mean I was looking at my email notification and laughing at my screen when I saw the part about catapult and fling. That's a good one, Rick! Really made my day.

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  2. Morning Jo! Im sipping my tea and making breakfast reading your post and have already started the Sunday wishing to be in London right now! To be honest, I didnt know Tower of London have many other towers inside, when I visited the city, I only see it from outside, what a shame. I will be curious to visit it, I know many ghosts stories about it :)) Btw, the photos of the breakfast are very yummy and your pastel outfit is perfect to contrast the dull place, looking always super cute and adorable! The lion sculptures are impressive, the graffiti made by prisoners shocked me. Lol, I need a wardrobe tower as well!:P What a shame you couldt take any pics of the jewels crown, should be interesting to see!:) I stay tuned for the continue now, I get why you had to divided the post!:)
    Happy Sunday dear, hugs! xo

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    1. You always have the loveliest comments ever, Lilli! I always enjoy reading every single word of yours. I read bout how many people were stating the fact that the Tower of London's ticket was too expensive but for those who went, all had rave comments. I forgot how much we paid as the price didn't matter to us since we read many good stuff about it. There was certainly no regret. The graffiti certainly look more like artwork than vandalism.

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  3. aww i love the tower of london especially the crown jewels lol! it's been quite a few years since i've been back.. but i'm loving looking at your pictures and recognizing all the places hehe!!

    you look so pretty in pink! i love it :)

    www.lisalovescoco.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you for your sweetness, Lisa. I love walking in other's shoes from photos especially when I've visited the place too.

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  4. London is the best :) You look beautiful!

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    1. Thank you, Anita. Love seeing newcomers here!

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  5. I went here many years ago, I do love London, there is so much to see. Though, I think as a whole, the UK has amazing historical places to go visit. Fantastic pictures. Am glad you liked Lashes of London, it's a great shop. I have quite a few pieces from there, lots of sparkle and colours...quite different from the white dress. But, I like it. I hope you have a marvellous new week doll Xxx

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    1. I haven't explored so many places in London and I really do wish to go back there again!

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  6. Wow!! What an awesome adventure! My parents and sisters recently got to visit the Tower of London so I feel like I recognize a few of the sites in your photos, though I've never been there!.

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    1. I love walking in other's shoes from photos especially when I've visited the place or have seen it from photos of people I know too.

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  7. Ah I wish I could go back to London right now. Why haven't I visited the Tower of London!! I had no idea it was that spectacular. Next time I go with you and you can show me around. You took amazing pics and described everything so well. It must have taken you hours. I'm so impressed. Btw you look adorable in pink. Just the right color to visit the Tower. No matter what hubby thinks hahaha!!! It's not our fault that Instagram didn't work. It was down yesterday haha. Yup my sister couldn't visit anyone too. So now it works again. If you follow I'll tell my sister to follow you back :) she won't find you otherwise hah. She's doing this for the first time. Have a wonderful Sunday Jo :D

    xx Mira

    www.glamdevils.com

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    1. I read bout how many people were stating the fact that the Tower of London's ticket was too expensive but for those who went, all had rave comments. I forgot how much we paid as the price didn't matter to us since we read many good stuff about it. There was certainly no regret.

      I tend to do my blog posts over a span of days. Editing the photos in batches and crafting the words on different days. Maybe that's why I'm always behind time in blogging. Hehehe... But I get very encouraged when blog friends and readers tell me they appreciate or like my style of writing.

      Thank you, Mira for your sweet comment. I'm so glad we are acquainted on IG now!

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  8. My dream to visit someday thanks to you I get to see impressive and amazing images you look beautiful doll. Thanks for stopping by.
    http://tifi11.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by too and for your sweet words. Hope we continue to stay connected!

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  9. I visited the Tower about ten years ago. These photos make me miss London so much!

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    1. I love walking in other's shoes from photos especially when I've visited the place or have seen it from photos of people I know too. I wonder what had changed from 10 years ago.

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  10. I love visiting London! Is an amazing city! Great pics sweetie! And your look is soo cute!
    Thanks for comment on my blog. Keep in touch!
    Lady Trends http://myladytrends.blogspot.com.es/NEW POST!!!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and for your sweet words. I hope we could stay connected too!

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  11. Wow! Many photos!
    The place looks very interesting and you look very cute in pink!
    I have never been to England.
    I wish you a happy new week!

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    1. Thank you for your sweet words, Demi. Have a good Easter weekend ahead!

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  12. Haha you and your husband seem to have a good time! I particularly enjoyed the roaring with the lions part. I am always up for a silly picture so it is good to see other people let their hair down too. I hope you enjoyed your trip to the Tower. I think a lot of Londoners miss out on sights that are right on their doorstep!

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    1. You sound like you're a Londoner though I'm not quite sure from your profile. Hehehe... Oooh... We enjoy taking silly shots too and yes, I'm like you. I like to see others let their hair down and take silly shots too. Life is not always about being so prim and proper. Thanx for stopping by my blog. I hope we continue to stay connected!

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  13. Yay for more tour of London. It seemed like a beautiful day when you visited the famous Tower of London. Perhaps one day I will get to go there.

    Thank you Jo for your kind words. You are always sweet. As I wrote that post it made me realize we have followed each other blogs for a few years now. Time flies or what?

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    1. Yes, time flies. I remember I was still in my bedroom of my family home instead of my in-laws place when we first knew each other. That would be more than 4 years definitely! I wonder how's Peh Sun. We 3 used to write essays!

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  14. Hi Jo, thanks for sharing these amazing touristic photos with us, I recall visiting the Tower of London when i was really young but don't remember too much, so this was a great refresher! Many thanks for stopping by, may your week start on a high note.

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    1. I hope the photos allowed you to walk the towers vicariously. Thank you for your sweet words and have a good Easter weekend.

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  15. Such an interesting article about Tower of London, looks like you had a wonderful time where:) Nice snapshots as well! All those dishes look super yummy and the city views are so beautiful:) By the way you look like a very lovely doll, so so pretty:)))
    Have a fabulous time!

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comments, Alexandra. Hope you have a lovely Easter weekend!

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  16. What lovely memories these photos must bring back for you Jo! Your pink marshmallow jacket looks so cute and cozy! We didn't get to visit the Tower of London the last time we were there and I think it'll be on the list for the next trip.

    Have a fantastic week my friend!

    Rowena @ rolala loves

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    1. I hope you get to visit the Towers for your next trip, Rowena. I read bout how many people were stating the fact that the Tower of London's ticket was too expensive but for those who went, all had rave comments. I forgot how much we paid as the price didn't matter to us since we read many good stuff about it. There was certainly no regret.

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  17. I really love this post and your blogstyle!
    would you like to follow each other on GFC and Bloglovin, dear? I'd like to keep in touch!
    Let me know with a comment on my blog, I promise that I'll follow you back!

    J'aime les feuilles rouges

    xoxo Marta

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    1. Thank you for stopping by. I love seeing newcomers here. I will check out your blog soon. =)

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  18. I love your jacket and printed tee Jo! Both are so cute! I can't get over how the prisoner carved into the walls. So amazing. Love the canon and again, your husband is so funny (roar like a lion!) HAHAHA
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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    1. Thank you for your sweet words, Kim. The graffiti certainly look more like artwork than vandalism. We have more silly pictures to come. Stay tuned!

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  19. Such awesome photos. It must be such a cool tour. I would love to go London and I’m fascinated with Medieval times.
    That breakfast looks soooo delicious and you had a really pretty view from your window. Those old style buildings are so beautiful, in my personal opinion. But it seems that you were lucky because a lot of people complain that it’s hard to get a sunny day when visiting London.
    Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I also like to have meaningful interactions with other bloggers.
    Take care.

    http://momodicted.blogspot.pt/

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comments, Alexandra. Indeed, It was difficult to get a sunny day and we experienced lots of rain too as you would slowly see in my updates. You would definitely enjoy the Tower of London if you are fascinated with Medieval times!

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  20. Looks like a great time!
    xo,
    Al
    www.sparklesandstilettos.com

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    1. Thank you, Al. Love seeing newcomers here!

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  21. Wow, so many great photos, where to begin! I love exploring old historic buildings, I wish I was able to travel more and do this sort of thing. I particularly love the beautiful stone buildings, you got so many lovely pictures of those! Thanks for linking to articles with more history on these buildings as well, it's always neat to learn about places like this. Looks like a wonderful time!

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    1. Thank you for sweet comment, Katie. I enjoyed reading it. I'm always glad when my blog posts offer a lot more knowledge than just pictures and I'm glad that there are people like you who found the links useful. Have a good Easter weekend!

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  22. What amazing photos! You sure got to see a lot!! Love all the old historical sites!

    Cheers,
    Eileen | www.yesmissy.com

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    1. Thank you, Eileen. Nice to see your creative self here!

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  23. Looks like you learned a lot! I lived in London during college and really loved getting to experience the culture and history!

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    1. Thanx for stopping by, Alexis. I love seeing newcomers here. I wished I studied in London during my college days coz I had a few friends who did and they enjoyed themselves tremendously. You must had too!

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  24. Great, amazing, wonderful pictures! Thank you for sharing. I knew there were multiple towers, but had no idea how the place was laid out or that there were so many towers in the Tower of London. Very cool!

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    1. When I was over there, I did not know the layout of the towers too. We simply immersed ourselves in the unknown, wandering from place to place. I'm always glad when my blog posts offer a lot more knowledge than just pictures and that people do take home something from them.

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  25. Whoah whoah WHOAH, did not even know that the Tower of London = multiple towers o_o. I SPENT MY HIGHSCHOOL YEARS IMMERSED IN THE HISTORY OF WAR OF THE ROSES AND I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW ABOUT THIS? I am a sham ._.''
    I'm planning on visiting London in October, and I enjoy seeing these posts because now I can literally plan which places I should go to! (And, y'know, I won't be stupidly embarrassed when I get there without knowing the histories behind some of the landmarks)

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    1. It's ok, Vanessa. We all start off ignorant too. Somehow, I kept thinking that the Tower of London was a castle and it seems like many Londoners and tourists alike do not know of the many towers. What's important is learning something new. I think you would enjoy London a lot.

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