The Caen stone The White Tower is the most historical section of the Tower of London complex. William the Conqueror erected it between 1078 and 1097. A rectangular stone keep made of Caen stone, constructed as an impregnable fortification and a spectacular and terrifying exhibition of his dominance to the Londoners. The White Tower has been used for many purposes over the years, but its main role today is to display royal treasures.
Also known as the Stone of Londinium or simply Londinium, this is a large unhewn limestone rock that was originally located in Ludgate Hill before being moved to make way for St Paul's Cathedral. The word "limestone" comes from Latin lutum (clay), because early geologists thought these rocks were composed of separate bits of clay that had been stuck together. Modern scientists know they are actually forms of calcium carbonate.
In addition to being very useful for building buildings, the White Rock was also important in pre-Christian times because it was here that sacrifices were made to pagan gods.
After the Conquest, the White Rock was the location where British kings and queens were crowned until 1215 when that honour was given up in favor of Westminster Abbey. Since then, it has been used for other purposes including storage and accommodation for prisoners.
The London Tower The White Tower is the Tower of London's major tower and the original keep. It was erected in the early 1080s by William the Conqueror and afterwards expanded. Today it is a popular tourist attraction.
The White Tower has had many names over time. Originally called "Tower H", then simply "Hewitt's Tower", it was renamed after Charles II's wife, Catherine of Braganza. She is said to have chosen this name because she liked the color of the paint on the inside of the tower.
The White Tower is an elegant building with an octagonal shape and walls up to 18 feet thick at their base. It stands 63 feet high and has 72 spiral steps leading up to its roof where there is a viewing gallery.
The White Tower was built as a military stronghold but has been used as a prison since 1225. Today it houses the Crown Jewels which are kept under lock and key in a safe place outside of viewings.
Guards patrol the White Tower regularly looking for intruders who would try to steal the jewels. They use a device called a "tower gun" to shoot them.
Also located in the White Tower is the oldest surviving door in England, which dates back to 1066.
The Tower of London is nearly a thousand years old, having been erected about 1070 and still standing tall today. William the Conqueror erected the White Tower in 1078, giving it its name. For the most part, the Tower has served as a jail. In the 16th century, it began to be used instead as a palace by English kings; since then it has remained their main residence in London. The White Tower is a large tower built entirely from white limestone with only the base being made of earth. It's regarded as one of the finest examples of Anglo-Saxon architecture.
The Tower has had many uses over time including mint, treasury, armory, museum, and zoo. It currently serves as a prison again. The oldest object in the Tower is an oak beam dating back to around 1180. There are also some stones that may have been used as weapons dating back even further—one of them is more than 300 years older than the White Tower!
You can visit the Tower of London almost every day of the year except for during winter holiday periods such as Christmas and New Year's Eve.
It's a very popular tourist attraction in London and visits increase dramatically at certain times of the year.
The White Tower, the principal keep of the Tower of London complex, was finished in the 1080s in the Romanesque style and would have been the city's highest edifice. It was a fortress as well as a royal dwelling for William the Conqueror. The tower is now a museum containing many of the objects kept there.
Originally called "Tower Hill" it was renamed after the first king of England, Edward the Confessor. Although he never visited Britain, scholars believe he might have stayed in or near London during his reign. The tower was built without black stone, which caused it to be known as "the White Tower" soon after it was completed.
The main attraction of the Tower Museum is its collection of medieval arms and armor. There are several impressive swords on display including one that is said to have been used by Richard III when he was murdered in the nearby Palace of Westminster.
Other interesting items in the museum include a suit of armor worn by King Charles I, who was executed during the English Civil War; guns manufactured in Belgium and France before they were banned by Parliament; and a lock-up where people could go if they were not guilty of crime but still feared punishment. This room also contains an audio tour with various voices describing what items it is you can see inside the room.