On Tuesday afternoon, we visited the Tower of London and were tasked with completeing a question sheet. The first question was about the castle’s defensive features - the castle is concentric, meaning it has two or more curtain walls; the inner wall is higher than the outer and can be defended from it. Even if you got past the moat and the outer wall, you would find yourself in the ‘death hole’ as you were attacked from the inner wall!
Fortunately we had tickets, so we were able to get in more easily. The first place we visited was a much anticipated one, the Bloody Tower, full of torture devices used to make a prisoner reveal secrets or just to punish them. Next we visited the Medieval Palace. This was where the king and queen’s temporary lodgings in the tower were. Monarchs would travel around the country, instead of staying in one place, so the bedchambers were rarely used.
We then moved onto the White Tower, the oldest part of the castle, originally built by William the Conqueror. This now holds the royal armouries. There is an impressive display of kings in their suits of armour on horseback. An interesting oddity was the suits of armour of a court dwarf and a giant, which contrasted humorously when standing next to each other. Also in the white tower was an interactive room where we could practice our archery skills and our ranging and firing of a cannon. This was a very popular room with most of the year group!
Finally, we visited the Crown Jewels. Particularly impressive were two diamonds cut from the largest diamond ever found, the Cullinan diamond. The Sceptre with Cross contains the Great Start of Africa, the largest clear cut diamond in the world, and the Empire State Crown also has the second largest diamond cut from the stone, along with the Black Prince’s Ruby. It was a sparkling finish to a very interesting and informative trip, and many thanks to our teachers for taking us.
Lyra, Year 7