The Tower of London
The Tower of London: A Landmark Alive With History The Tower of London is one of the most famous and visited historic monuments in the world. For some people it conjures up images of Norman architecture and towering battlements, but most associate it with arms and armour, ravens, the Crown Jewels, Yeoman Warders, imprisonment, death and ghostly apparitions. But this does not do it justice: the history of the Tower and its buildings is a vast, fascinating and complex subject, intertwined with the history of the country of England, its government, its kings and queens, and its people and institutions. The castle's first four centuries, during the Middle Ages, saw the development of the layout of buildings that we know today and its
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The latter soon decided to enlarge and strengthen the Tower of London, the first of a series of building campaigns which by about 1350 had created the basic form of the great stronghold that we know today. Longchamp's works doubled the area covered by the fortress by digging new, deeper ditches to the north and east and building sections of a curtain wall, which were reinforced by the new Bell Tower at the south-west corner. The ditches were intended to flood naturally from the river, yet this plan proved unsuccessful. The new defences were soon put to the test when the King's brother, John, taking advantage of Richard's absence, challenged the Chancellor's authority and besieged him at the Tower. Lack of provisions forced Longchamp to surrender.
The next monarch to substantially develop the Tower of London was Henry III. He was only 9-years old in 1216, but his regents began a major extension of the royal accommodation in the enclosure that formed the Inmost Ward. The great hall and kitchen, dating from the previous century, were improved and two towers built on the waterfront, the Wakefield Tower as the King's lodgings and the Lanthorn Tower, probably intended as the Queen's. By the mid-1230s, Henry III had run into trouble with his barons and opposition flared. On multiple occasions the King fled to the Tower of London. But as he sheltered in