Bloody Tower of London - Full Documentary
The. Tower of London now, home to the crown jewels once home to enemies. Of the crown. For. More 900. Years the Tower of London has loomed over, the city a symbol. Of pomp and circumstance, and sheer, terror the. People. Think that the, only executions, that took place in the tower in the Middle Ages it should not show. Its. Walls have occurred with the screams, of England's most notorious. Prisoners. Their. Limits were tied to opposite, ends of this terrible, machine and the winch's were turned and it literally dislocated. All the joints. The. Tower of London has, been an armory, a zoo, a royal, residence and, a torture chamber a few years ago more than 30 bodies were dug up beneath the tower they. Were Royals, and commoners, guilty, and innocent many, of them victims of unspeakable. Cruelty, join. Us as we uncover the, mysterious, secrets, of the, bloody Tower of London. The. Tower of London is, one of the most popular, tourist attractions, in England. Each. Year over two and a half million visitors come to stare and wonder at the dazzling, crown jewels, and marvel. At the regal splendor of the royal yeoman, warders. They. Also come to walk through the eerie cold stone, halls and cells and see, the spot where so many famous people literally. Lost their heads. You. Do get this ship of the Spanish walking around especially. On a damp foggy. Misty night around the tower it can be really, off-putting it, really can. The. Wind is blowing along. The Thames. Rattling. The chains over the draw bridges and, you. Can't help, for, getting all the grim history of the Tower. October. 1066. Norman. Forces, swarm, across the channel to invade England. Crushing. The Saxon, defenders, in a decisive battle of hastings. The. Norman horde takes control of the country and proclaims, their leader William the Conqueror King. William. Came north to a newfound capital of London and. Realized. That if unless he took a, lot. Of precautions, he would have the public, against him because no one liked being invaded and so I decided to build himself a castle. William. Selects, a hill along the River Thames as the site for one of the three castles he builds in London he, is not the first Conqueror, to recognize the tactical, advantage, of this location. There. Actually are remains, of an earlier fortress, and, fragmentary. Roman remains are, there today. It, was because of the Roman defenses themselves. That William the Conqueror chose to build this castle here rather, than somewhere else in London because, he, found that he had two sides of a castle already built, and. So he built the White Tower in that angle. Designed. By a monk, named gunned off this. First tower measures, 97, by 118. Feet and is, constructed from white cane limestone. Held together by red mortar, writers. Of the time comment. On this mortar, tempered, with the blood of beasts, but, in truth the, colour comes from old Roman tiles, which had been crushed up in the cement. Gunn. Dolph was also responsible, for the original, design of another castle in the town of Rochester southeast. Of London. While. Most of the structure was built after his death, this, magnificent. Ruin provides a rare inside, glimpse, into the construction, of a 12th century Norman. Castle. The. Tower of London was not only meant to defend London it was also meant to dominate, it. William. The Conqueror, who wanted something that was at least in part a statement of royal power to, say to the people of London I'm the king I'm here, I'm in charge of you. As impressive. As it appears from the outside, the, interior, of Williams Castle was probably, far from luxurious.
Buyout, Present, standard it was quite harsh but of course they had different standards, in those days. And. The royal family lived on the top floor with. An open fire burning, it. Is really the privacy, because they didn't believe in that sort of thing in those days and, the, next floor down was the royal courts the, third floor down was, the men-at-arms and, the personal staff. Even. Before it is completed, the tower receives, its first prisoner. Ran. Off flam barred the, Bishop of Durham in. His, capacity as tax collector, Lombardi. Has amassed a bit too much personal, wealth and finds. Himself housed. In the tahor, no. Part of the towers ever built specifically. As a prison, but, the, Tower of London like, all castles, in England has always been used as a prisoner, one form or another. A tower, that was strong enough to keep the Kings enemies out was. Equally strong enough to keep the Kings enemies in so, they couldn't get out dual. Purpose. The. Tower proves, to be a better royal, home than, prison, less. Than six months after his arrest the wily flame bard uses, his wealth and power to engineer, an escape. In. Those days depending. On your means you could have your servants, you could have special food brought in and, he. Had lots of wine brought in and his, friends brought in more, barrels, of wine one, of which contained, a ropes and, he. Invited, all the guards to join him in his debauchery he, got them all pleasantly, drunk he, unwound, the rope dropped it from the other windows and escaped. Succeeding. Monarchs, undertake, continuous. Renovations, of the tower intended. To make it more secure, the. Most notable, new additions come during the reign of King Henry the third who, earns the nickname Henry. The Builder. Henry. Was responsible, for a really quite substantial enlargement. Of the towers defenses he. Built most of what we know today as the inner curtain wall. Intended. To protect the King from the growing aspirations. Of his barons, the, renovations, nearly, double, the area of the tower. Within. The new walls henry orders builders, to erect additional, structures, to house his garrison, armory, jewel, house wardrobe. Mint, and even. The king's menagerie. The, earliest reference we have two wild. Animals being brought to the tower dates from 12:35. When. Three leopards, were, presented, to Henry the third by the Emperor Frederick, a second. That. Was followed shortly thereafter by. The delivery, of a polar bear from the king of Norway. And this. Was provided with a rope. And a collar, allowed, to go swimming in the Thames a rather curious sort of vision. In. 1276. The appropriately, named lion tower is open, to house the growing collection of animals. Visitors. Arriving, from the city first, pass through this massive Barbican, when entering the fortress no. Doubt the roars of wild, animals, did little to strengthen, the resolve of subject, arriving, for an audience with the king. Today. There are only a few remnants, of the Magnificent, lion tower or. Anyone who knows where to look, the. Army to the left you can see it it's in the cobbles there is the line of, the, lion tower going across from the railings.
Right. The way to the door into, the shop there and behind. It to the right, literally. Beneath us is the, lion tower itself, that's the wall of the tower you can see from just how much there is down here going, down beneath, our feet it, was a massive building, well you have to imagine is is much again standing, above ground so, it was a huge building in its own right. Henry's. Son Edward the, first completes. The expansion, of the tower grounds, by building the outer curtain. Wall. Although. Ensuing, years, will bring many changes, to structures, within the walls the, outer limits, of the Tower of London are now set. The. Tower of London now, totals, 20 towers in all covering. An area of over 12 acres it, has become a virtual, city within, the city. If. The tower would have been a very very busy place wouldn't just be the king and queen it would be hundreds of people with them and then people cooking all over the place so. Plenty, of smoke. And heat it, would have been a bustling. Place that are out its life. By. The 15th, century, what was once a modest, fortification. Has been transformed. Into a lavish, and secure, royal palace. But the idol will not last. Fierce. Dynastic, hatreds. Are simmering and will soon erupt dividing. England and plunging, the tower into the center of murder and intrigue. By. The mid 15th, century the, 62, year rule of England's reigning, monarchs, the Lancaster, family is, beginning, to falter, as a mysterious. And debilitating. Disease, strikes, King Henry the sixth. He. Lost his wits and memory, for a time and nearly all his body was, so uncoordinated, and. Out of control that he could neither walk, nor, hold his head up john. Watham stet, abbot. Sensing. The weakness, of their enemy the, rival, House of York attacks, King Henry and lays claim to the throne. The. Ensuing clash, between these two powerful, families, comes, to be known as the Wars of the Roses because. The Lancastrian. Coat of arms features a red rose and the York's contains, one that is white. The, intrigue, of the times catapults. The Tower of London into, a new and sinister. Role. During. The Wars of the Roses the, tower became more of a state prison, the great, families, were warring with each other and the, tower, actually became not only their place of imprisonment, but, also a scene of regicide. And fratricide. The. First volley in the Wars of the Roses comes, in 1461. When. Yorkist, King Edward the fourth usurped. The throne and makes rival, King Henry a prisoner, of the tower. Mad. Henry, as the enfeebled, X King comes to be known is held, in the Wakefield, tower until, 1471. When, he is mysteriously. Found dead, at, the foot of his prayer altar. The. Official line on the death of Henry the sixth was that he died of pure displeasure and melancholy, but being deposed but examination. Of his skull in 1910. Show, due to being cloven, with some, hard instrument, possibly. A knife or an ax it's, virtually, certain that Henry the six was murdered to get him out of the way. Edward. Begins, a brutal, campaign of, silencing, his political enemies, no. One is safe not, even his own family. In. 1478. Edward. Locks his brother George in the Devereaux Tower sentencing. Him to death for treason the. Execution. Is carried out in a most unusual. Manner. He. Obviously had a reputation, as a drinker, so he looks very much as if yes he was drowned in a vat of malmsey, wine what a way to go. Less. Colorful, ends await many prominent, Lancastrians. On the scaffold, build a top tower hill. Others. Find themselves indefinitely. Locked away in the tower where, conditions, vary greatly depending. On the wealth and status, of the prisoner. In. Those days if you were, Noble. And you would still be kept in conditions according, to your status good, furniture good, food and so forth so, they wouldn't necessarily notice any difference, from, their everyday lives, except, that they were very, clearly prisoners.
For. Prisoners, unable to afford such luxury, a stay in the tower can be a very different experience. While. Incarcerated for, treason in 1553. Bishop. John Fisher writes I. Have. Neither shirt, nor suit no, yet other clothes. Notwithstanding. I. Might easily suffer, that if they. Would keep my body warm. But. My diet also God, knoweth, how slender it is at any times. One. Thing all captives, share is boredom, with. Time on their hands, prisoners. Use belt buckles, nails and dining, knives to carve intricate, inscriptions, in the tower walls many. Can still be seen today they. Remain, as a lasting, memorial to, the prisoners, of a turbulent and uncertain. Age. I think. The worst thing about being in the tower even if you were rich and you were comfortable, and you were well provided, for I think the worst thing was the uncertainty, of never knowing when. The constable, was going to come to your door and say, either that you were going to be executed, on the morrow nine, o'clock or you. Were free to go and, you, just didn't know it depended, on the whim of a king. In. Addition, to execution. Unrepentant. Prisoners, face the specter of unspeakable. Tortures. Although. The use of torture has always been illegal, in England it. Is condoned, within, the tower walls. Now. People. Were never tortured, unless, the authorities. Were. Convinced, that they were guilty, they. Were then tortured, for two reasons, to, make them, admit their. Crime and secondly. And even more important. To. Make them admit the. Names of their fellow conspirators. So torture, was not a punishment it was simply. A persuasive, method. These. Persuasive. Methods, involve horrific, devices, such as thumb screws pillow inks cashy laws and Bilbo's, but. The most feared torture, device is one introduced, to the tower by John Holland, Duke of Exeter. Although. Often referred, to as the Duke of Exeter's, daughter victims. Shudder at its more descriptive, name the. Rack. Their. Limbs were tied to opposite, ends of this terrible, machine and the winches, were turned and it literally dislocated. All the joints in, fact they described one person as coming, out a foot taller than he had been born or, born. To be and, it. Was a pretty awful instrument. Long. Before it got to that stage whether. You had committed. A crime or not you. Admitted that you had done. The. Tower of London quickly. Gains a ghastly, reputation. This. Infamy, grows with the events following the death of King Edward the fourth in 1483, and the, naming of his 13, year old son Edward. As successor. The, boys uncle the Duke of Gloucester is assigned to be his protector, but, instead usurped. The throne. Proclaiming. Himself King Richard. The third the. Duke has all of the boys advisers, arrested, including Lord. William Hastings, the. Bewildered, Hastings, is dragged from a meeting of the Privy Council, and summarily. The headed him on a piece of building timber, found blind of the tower green a, pair. Of the realm was entitled to be tried by his peers by law but, this was an act without any recourse to law an act of pure tyranny, and it, set off what we now think of as a reign of terror.
Richard. Realizes, that his monarchy, will never be secure as long as the true successor, young Prince Edward is alive. In. One of the darkest, episodes, of tower history, Edward. And his brother are placed in a secure section, of the tower where their every, move is controlled. The. Boys doctor, reports, all, the. Attendants, who had waited upon the king would be bought access, to him. He. And his brother were withdrawn, into the inner apartments, of the tower proper, till. At last they, ceased to a pair, doctor. Argentine. In. The streets of London, rumours begin wildly. Circulating, that they have been murdered, but, by whom, only. One person could be responsible, for the princes deaths and that was Richard the third. Thomas. More gives a very detailed, account, of the murder he, says that the princes, were murdered by arrangement, of Sir James Turrell on Richards orders and that. Two, men were actually instructed to do the murder to suffocate, them with pillows whilst, Tara waited outside the door and that. They were buried neatly deep under the stair foot under a great pile of rubble and that, is exactly where in 1674. A chest, was found containing, human bones. Just. Two years after brutally. Seizing, the frogs King, Richard is slaughtered, in a violent, battle. The. Crowning of his successor, Henry, Tudor marks, the end of the fractious, Wars of the Roses at. The. Beginning, of the bloodiest, dynasty. In tower history. When. We continue King. Henry the eighth sends, his own wife Anne Boleyn to, the tower for a date with the executioner. Then. Her head was sliced off literally in an instant, we are told the. Head was lifted up and at, that moment the eyes and lips were seen to move. The, Tudor monarch, King Henry the eighth assumes, the throne in 1509. In. Keeping, with tradition he, spends the night before his coronation in the Tower of London which. Is now over 400 years old and beginning, to show signs of its age. During. Tudor, times the Royal Apartments are falling into disrepair new, modes of building, new ideas of comfort, were coming in and it became rather old fashioned it was regarded as that and they. Were used only to. Fulfill the tradition that a monarchs spent a night or so before the coronation in the tower. While. Henry rarely, stays in the tower he, does make full use of it as a prison. Without. A son to inherit the throne Henry, ruthlessly, seeks, out anyone, who might have a minor claim to the line of succession and sends. Them to the gallows of Tower Hill. Public. Executions, took place on Tower Hill just outside, the the boundaries, of the tower and they were a very popular form of entertainment for, centrism, let's. Take the clips the execution. The Londoners would say and they get up early to get a good seat understand which had specially, been erected, not. Content, to merely remain spectators, the burgeoning, crowds often, take an active, part in the proceedings the. Common, people would surge forward after the execution, with handkerchiefs, and scraps of cloth and try to dip them in the victim's blood so, they would have souvenirs, which were considered efficacious. Against, certain ailments and, and something that they would keep as a memento, now, people weren't very squeamish at all in those days, the. Manner of death depends. More on the condemned, social, position, that on the severity of their crime, the. Poor are hanged, or the rich face the more genteel, fate, of the heading. The. Aristocrats. Were entitled to being executed by cold steel this. Is the nearest thing to being killed in action in battle, by, an enemy saw where, your ordinary prisoners just had the hempen rope, we.
Were Very close conscious, in those days no doubt about it though. Reserved, for aristocrats the. Heading is far from a civilized death. Multiple. Strokes, are often, required to sever the condemns head. The. Axe was an appallingly. Inaccurate, weapon. But remembered, it it, wasn't, a merciful era, you were there to be punished, so, why should you have a quick and clean end if you tried to overthrow, the throne yet, literally, you got all that was coming to you you really got it in the neck. The. Most horrific sentence. That a tower prisoner, can receive is reserved. For those convicted, of treason it. Is called the four horrors, of the, traitors, death. And, that meant that you were draw on a hurdle from where you'd been imprisoned to the place of execution and, then. You were hanged until he were half dead cut. Down revive with vinegar. Your. State was littered with the ripping knife you. Were castrated as a. Symbolic, way of ensuring. That you could never have children who could have such treacherous, thoughts as you had held your. Bowels, and entrails were pulled out and thrown. On the fire which was burning by the scaffold, then. You were beheaded, you. Had placed on London Bridge and. Your. Body cut into quarters, and they. Were sent to the various cities, where you had lived and probably plotted, against, the sovereign and they, were displayed. On the city gates of deterrence. Henry's. Obsession, with fathering, a male heir reaches, a fever, pitch he. Turns against, his wife Catherine, of Aragon who, has borne him only a daughter deciding. To divorce her in favor of a younger woman and Boleyn. When. The Pope refuses, to grant Henry a divorce, the, enraged King, declares, himself head, of the Church of England and decrees, that divorce is legal. His. Action sparked, the British arm of the Protestant, and Catholic split known, as the Reformation. The. English Reformation creates, an entirely new, category of, enemies for King Henry the 8th with, droves of Catholic opponents, being added, to the tower prisons. One. Of the most notable, is Henry's, friend and close advisor Sir.
Thomas More. So. Thomas More was one of the finest minds of the age a great humanist, a man of learning he was a very devout Catholic, and a man of great principle and, integrity who had an international, reputation for this. Mores. Devout, loyalty, to his faith prevents. Him from supporting. The Kings marriage to Anne Boleyn in 1533. This. Decision, earns him a stay in the tower and a, death sentence, for treason. Sir. Thomas More was executed. On Tower Hill and there's. A lovely story of the execution, was helping him up he said and thank you for helping me up the steps as for my going down I'll see to myself. Ironically. The, woman who indirectly, caused his death soon. Follows, more to the grave. In. January. 1536. After only three years of marriage, and Berlin, has produced only one surviving. Child a girl, the, Princess Elizabeth. Rather. Than waste the time and trouble of another divorce, Henry. Has his second wife arrested, on the false charges, of adultery and incest. And taken. To the tower. Being. The queen has some minor advantages. Even when awaiting execution. Boleyn. Is comfortably, housed in the same apartment she, occupied, on the night of her coronation, and King. Henry grants, her a last special. Favor Anne. Boleyn, was executed, in an unusual, manner she, was not executed by an axe in fact the Kings sent to Santo Mayer in France for an experienced, swordsman to strike up her head because it would be a quicker cleaner, death and. This is thought to have been in return for her cooperation agreeing, to the annulment of her marriage in the bastardy, of an order. On. The day of her execution, and climbs, the scaffold, specially, built on tower green it. Is raised higher than usual to allow the private, audience a good view of her death. The. French executioner. Does not use a block, so, Anne kneels before him making, certain that her skirts do merely cover, her feet and angles. The. Executioner. Quietly, picks up his sword which has been discreetly, hidden in a pile of straw, even. Though he holds, the saber in his hands, he yells out bring, me the sword and. Instinctively. Turns towards his voice. And. The hit was my stuff between instant. We are told the, head was lifted up in the usual manner and the executioner, cried behold the head of a traitor and at that moment the eyes and lips were seen to move and. The Omnibus her absolutely shocked and. So when ambulance head, was severed. Did, she see the ground coming, up to meet her did. She look down at the faces. Of the people gathered around the scaffold. Before. Blackness. Overcame. Her, who. Knows I'm. Unable to find a volunteer to prove or disprove that, regrettably. Six. Years later King, Henry's fifth wife meets a similar fate, it. Seems that the charges, of infidelity, leveled, against her or at least partially, true and so. Queen Catherine, Howard does not receive, the same courtesies, as Anne Boleyn she. Must suffer the wrath of the English, tax man. The, night before her execution, she asked for the block to be brought to her apartments, so that she could practice how to lay her head on it and make a good death so she wouldn't let down the noble house of Howard of which she was a member the. Final. Victim condemned, under Henry the eighth's reign the Duke of Norfolk never, makes it to the gallows the. Night before his scheduled, execution the. Duke is awakened, in his tower cell by the ringing of all the bells in London. The. King has, died in his sleep thus. Bringing Norfolk, and unexpected. Reprieve and a sudden end to Henry's, 38, year bloody, rule. When. We continue the, Great Fire of London rages. Out of control placing. The tower in the path of destruction. It. Was used as the main gunpowder, store for the town you can imagine what would have happened with just a simple spark. In the wrong place. September. 2nd. 1666. Fire, breaks out in the wooden tenements, along pudding, Lane. The, wind-whipped, blaze quickly, roars, out of control, heading, directly for the Tower of London and its secret deadly, contents. It. Was used as the main gunpowder, store for the town you can imagine what would have happened with just a simple spark.
In The wrong place, bang goes the White Tower in every single sense. As. The flames creep, ever closer with no salvation, in sight tower. Officials, agree to a radical plan, they. Will use the Gunpowder, to blow up the buildings that surround, the tower walls. The. Gamble, pays off the. Demolished. Buildings, create a fire break and the tower is spared. But. The rest of London is not as lucky in, a four-day, rampage, the inferno, destroys, nearly four-fifths. Of all the structures, within the walled city. The. Rebuilding, effort spearheaded by Christopher, Wren is, an enormous undertaking, that will transform, London, into one of the great modern cities, of its time. The. New London, uh sure's in an era of more refined, tastes. The. Tower is still bursting, with political, prisoners but, torture, has fallen out of favor with the, rack employed, for the last time in 1640. This, more humane, atmosphere. In the tower has an unforeseen, side effect an increase. In, escapes, I, researched. And found about 40, who escaped, thousand. Didn't. Know. Security's, 100%. Certain, so, we always had a few daring, ones who, evolved, in different, methods of escaping. Perhaps. The most unique method, of escape ever employed, by a tower prisoner, belongs. To Scotsman, William Maxwell Earl, of myth stale, in. 1716. Lord myth stale is implicated, in a plot to depose, King George the first and regain. The crown for the Scottish House of Stuart. He. Was captured and brought to the tower with several, other Lords Scottish. Lords they, were all condemned to death and, they. Had more or less resigned, themselves as one des in the Tower of London to, meet such an end. On. Hearing, of her husband's, arrest ladyness. Dale travels, on horseback from Scotland, through a horrible winter storm to. Plead for mercy from King George, when. Her petitions, fail she, changes, her tack and masterminds. The escape of her husband. Course. In those days they were allowed to visit Lee condemned, husbands, and she, brought down with her two of her friends with. Extra, coats over their own coats and, they. Worked, out a strategy whereby, they. Moved, in and, out covering. Their faces with handkerchiefs, weeping. Bitterly at, the coming execution. Of their master and husband. The. Women appears so agitated, that the guards take no notice as they constantly move, in and out of the cell the. Jailers so loses, track of their comings and goings it. Is precisely, the effect lady miss Dale hoped for, now. There, is a window of opportunity for. The Lord to escape. She's. Worked, out a plan that she, would make him up to appear like a woman, with, heavy, makeup on and a wig and in the melee that they soak leveling, cunningly, constructed. Lord. Miss Dale sobbing, bitterly walked. Out past, the yeoman warders. To. Complete the rules lady, miss Dale remains, in the cell and holds, a long conversation. With herself in, two voices as she. Leaves she, locks the door and instructs. The servants, not to disturb her husband while he is at prayer. By. The time the deception, is discovered, the Lord and Lady miss Dale have escaped to Rome where, they happily live out the rest of their lives.
And. Apparently the king said well with a wife, like that he deserved, to escape, the axe brother. Nice I thought. On, April, 9th, 17:47. One, of myths Dale's fellow conspirators. Simon, Fraser Lord, Lovat earns, a less enviable, place, in tower history, when he becomes the last man ever, beheaded, in all of Britain. The makeshift, bleachers, erected, on Tower Hill are crammed, with so many spectators, that one, collapses, killing, 20 people watching. The mayhem from atop the gallows, love, it Riley quips the, more mischief the better sport. It. Seems a fitting clothes, to this barbaric, chapter, in British history, as. The, 18th, century wore on the. Tower played host to fewer and fewer prisoners, and. Indeed one of the lasts, of most notable prisoners of the late 18th century was an American, Henry Lawrence. Lorenz. The president, of the Continental Congress is. Captured, off the coast of Holland when, his ship is overtaken, by a British man-of-war. When. A search of Lauren's belongings, turns up a treaty pledging, Dutch support, for the American Revolution against England he is branded, a rebel and led, to the tower in Chains. He, seems to have had a rather miserable time, the. Governor of the time man. Called Gore took, a dislike to him Gore, seems, to have contrived, to make him take his daily walk at moments, of the day when the public could go put him. Loren's, records. One incident, where he was sort of shoved, out through the front door with a sword in his back to make sure he went out there and could, be seen by the public. After. 15, tumultuous. Months of confinement in the tower Lorenz. Finally, wins his release in exchange, for Lord Charles, Cornwallis a British, general being held by American, troops. Loren's, holds, the distinction of being the last American. Prisoner of war ever, held, in the tower. When. In return world, war 1 rages, and the tower is once more pressed into service in, the. First World War, 11, German. Spies were actually shot at the Tower of London. In. 1837. Queen Victoria, ascends, to the throne. This. Marks the beginning of a new era for England, and the, Tower of London. State. Offices, which once dominated, the tower are now all, but gone. Even. The venerable menagerie. Which has been a part of tower history, for 600, years is, finally, closed in 1835. Most, of the animals are moved to the new regions Park Zoo and the lion, tower is later raised to open up the western entrance. That. Was really rather unfortunate, because what must have been one of the most magnificent. And sending most formidable parts, of the tower disappeared. At the stroke almost, at the, whim of the. Victorians, who wanted, to clear away the area and make. It a more. Historical. In inverted commas environment. For visitors. For. The first time in its history the. Tower is treated as a major tourist, attraction it, quickly becomes successful, with, a number of paying visitors, climbing, from 11,000. In 1837. To, more than, 95,000. In only four years. The. Tower of London has, always been a place of interest for visitors, and even. In the medieval period we have references, to foreign, dignitaries, coming to the tower to look at the armory, and other attractions. So. The. Tower of London is a tourist attraction goes, back many hundreds of years. The. Grand old tower settles, gracefully, into its new life but. It's days of official duty, are not completely, behind it. June. 28. 1914. The, assassination. Of Austrian Archduke. Francis Ferdinand. Plunges. Europe, into war. Great, Britain arise with France and Russia to fight the German menace. For, a brief time the famous, tower reverts, to its former role as a state prison, housing. 11, captured, German, spies. They, were condemned to death and then they were brought back to the Tower of London and in a little firing squad which you sustained only yards from my apartment in the tower there, they faced the firing squads, and was shot. During. World War one the tower staff, attempts, to maintain a normal, routine but, it becomes increasingly, difficult with, the advent of a new weapon war. The. Airplane. The. Kaiser had actually, instructed. His political. Advisors, not. To bomb the. Royal Palaces and historic buildings of London but as the war dragged on and air raids became, more frequent. The. Tower came under greater threat. On. June. 13th, 1970. An unexploded. Bomb falls, into the moat area but, none of the tower buildings, are harmed. That. Will not be the case 30 years later but Great Britain is once more thrust, into war. During. World War two the, Tower of London serves, numerous, functions. Its. Basements, provide protection, as air-raid shelters. The. Filled in moat sprouts, of Victory Garden and. Some. Of its buildings, once more house prisoners, of war. Nazi. Leader Rudolf, Hess is detained in the tower for four days and German. Spy Joseph, Jacobs, is executed, on August, 15th. 1940s. The distinction of being the last person ever. Executed. In the tower. As. The war intensifies. London. Is pummeled, by a relentless, barrage, of, heavy aerial, assaults, from Nazi planes at rockets.
Nothing. Is safe not. Even the tower. From. 1940. It, was subjected to heavy bombing raids and many, historic, buildings were blown apart or damaged. We, need, everybody out as, the bombs start to drop and luckily. For everybody concerned after, everybody was great of the old hospital Rock it, took a direct hit. There. Was nobody injured, by it. Although. The damage to the tower is extensive, it does have an unexpectedly. Positive, result. Previously. Unknown, archaeological. Artifacts, are discovered, within the ruins of Victorian, buildings. But. Was only really one that was being demolished it was realized, that some of the original curtain. Walls of Henry, the Third's reign actually. Survived intact, literally. Encapsulated. Within the Victorian, structure. History. Built upon history, both. A reminder, of how deep the roots go in this venerable monument and a, promise of the riches the tower still, holds, for us to discover. To. This day ongoing. Archaeological. Digs continue, to discover surprises. That add greater detail, to the continuing. Story of the, Tower of London. The. Tower is a tremendously, complex. Place, it's been developing, really, ever since William the Conqueror built it in 1066. Or started it off and it's. Almost like a layer, cake and that's why it's such an endlessly fascinating. Place archaeologically. Because, there is all that evidence for the past laid, out beneath your feet and quite literally in many cases. It. Is this incredible wealth, of history that annually, draws more than two million, visitors to the tower they. Come to walk the halls and ramparts. To capture, a glimpse, of the ages that have passed before. Alcántara, London has a, living history book. If. You control the Tower of London, you control, the country hence. Its size and its majesty. When. I walk the grounds of the tower today and I go into the towers, and look at the chambers, that still survive I'm, overwhelmed. With a sense of history, I'm. Absolutely, fascinated, by, this place and always have been and I find it it's the sense of history that is so compelling. There. Are still eight prisoners, inside the tower a flock, of Ravens whose, wings have been clipped so, they can't escape like lurid myths Dale the.
Birds Are tended by a raven, master whose job is to make sure they, thrive and for good reason it's been prophesized, that if the Ravens ever fly away the, Tower of London will crumble along. With the monarchy itself I'm. Arthur Kent for the History Channel thanks, for watching, for. More information, on bloody Tower of London, please visit our website at history, channel calm.