Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Tower of London

Outer wall in the morning sun.
Rise and shine.  Tuesday morning we left our flat at 7:30 am so we could get to the Tower of London before the lines got there.  There was a chill in the air but it was a beautiful morning.  We arrived around 8:30 and waited until we could get our tickets.  We found a pass that included entrance to 6 historic palaces.  We will be visiting at least one more while we here so the membership paid for itself.  Along with our membership card, the kids got buttons and a little booklet to help them learn about the Tower of London.  They were pretty ambivalent about going but once they got there and learned a bit about this historic building, I think their excitement grew.  

White Tower

It's important to understand that the Tower of London is a castle complex.  There is a central hold or keep--the White Tower ,built by William the Conqueror and then an inner wall which included different buildings, towers and the church and the outer wall added last, which was home to the English mint for a while.  White Tower directly served the monarchy until the 19th Century.

Between the Walls
We started our time there with a look at the British crown jewels.  These were crown jewels done right.  There was information about the crown jewels and where pieces came from and how long they have been in use by the monarchy.  It was amazing.  There were several rooms with a few related piece in them.  It was a simple and spectacular display.  The jewels are amazing in their brilliance but also their simplicity.  There are not a lot of pieces but I think that is what makes it even better an experience.

View of The Tower of London from across the Thames

Our next stop was Bloody Tower.  It is so named for the alleged murder of the two young (12 and 9) sons of King Edward IV.  After that a tour with a Yeoman Warder.  The tour was great.  We walked to 4 stops where he would share information about that particular location and related information about the tour itself.  Our guide was hilarious.  He was informative, engaging and certainly himself.  After that we walked through the White Tower.  There were suits of armor and weaponry.  The boys really enjoyed that.

After White Tower we stopped to eat some lunch and said good bye to Hyrum so he could go to work.  We walked down to the torture room which housed a rack and device called the "Scavenger's Daughter".  It was interesting to see that these tortures were only used for a relatively short period of time and wasn't a general practice.  We then walked along the top of the inner wall.  They had iron soldiers poised their in various positions.  It was a fun way for the kids to experience standing on a castle wall.

On the wall with a friend
After that we got some ice cream cones and waited to meet Charity and Moses for a walk across Tower Bridge to the More London Estates water fountains.  The kids loved getting wet as it was a warm day.  While there, I got alerts for the Tube line we ride and was a bit concerned about how to get home.  We ended up not having any issues and got home with enough time for some school work and leftovers for dinner.

Tower Bridge

The weather has been hot the past couple of days so the kids were a bit grumpy, and so was I and it took a bit of work to get them to sleep.  It was a full day though and I think, everyone enjoyed it.

Water time!

1 comment:

Reianna said...

We just got home from a vacation to tour the Philadelphia Temple and I found all your posts from your trip! Oh my! You are amazing! What a great mom you are! I can't wait to continue to follow your journey over the rest of the year. I'm assuming you're staying through Christmas based on your days there. How much fun you will have! Trust me...your kids are getting a great education. Reading and math are just about all you need with all those fields trips. Science museum counts as science experiments for sure...and taking a guided tour through a castle counts as a history lesson. Have them draw a picture each day of what they did or write a couple sentences and you have completed their English lessons. Love you and wish I could come visit! keep posting about your time there!