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Tower of London

Tower of London
The Tower of London © TopFoto.co.uk/Charles Walker

Built by William the Conqueror almost 1,000 years ago, the Tower of London has served many roles over the years. It has been a royal palace, a fortress, a prison, a place of execution, an armoury, a mint, and a treasury for the Crown Jewels. It also held the royal zoo, and is still home to ravens whose wings are clipped to stop them flying away. A tradition says that if the ravens leave the Tower, then the monarchy is doomed.

The tower has seen many historic events. It was here, in 1399, that King Richard II was forced to sign away his throne. In 1483, the young princes, Edward V and his brother Richard, both disappeared here while in the care of their uncle, Richard III. Famous prisoners include Thomas More, Walter Ralegh, Guy Fawkes, and the Nazi Rudolf Hess. Three queens, Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard and Lady Jane Grey, were all beheaded here.

Given its bloody history, it is not surprising that the Tower has a reputation as one of the most haunted places in England. Men, women, children, a troop of soldiers, and even a ghostly bear have all been reported walking around the Tower at night...