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Explore the cryptic mysteries of the Tower of London

Published: Monday 12th of August 2013

Very few buildings in London have quite managed to capture the imaginations of both tourists and Londoners alike in the same way as the Tower of London.

This ancient tower was created over 900 years ago and has been home to kings, queens, unfortunate souls and yes, even animals.

For this famous castle has served as a palace, prison, zoo and armoury over the years. And this month, visitors get a unique opportunity to explore the very depths of the tower and learn all about the history that made this infamous abode the popular attraction that it is today.

But this is no ordinary building and there are many different facets of it to explore.

White Tower

And who could forget the White Tower? This is one of the oldest buildings in the Tower of London and was built to strike fear into the hearts of rebellious citizens.

The tower opens this month and is part of a World Heritage site. In recent years, there was a conservation project at the tower, with repairs taking place all over the structure.

The work took place from January 2008 until April 2011, to address some of the deterioration and wear and tear of the building.

Over 1,367 stones were fixed, and the result is a robust and fascinating tower that still retains its ancient and historical character.

Find out what William Shakespeare, common criminals and Prince Edward all have in common and how it has helped to contribute to some of the most celebrated aspects of British culture.

Ghost Stories

Beware - this is not for the faint hearted! If you can stomach some of the deadly tales, and spooky shenanigans which run amok at the tower - then you are indeed a very brave soul.

Here you can discover the myths behind Arbella Stuart, a cousin of King James I who was possibly murdered at the tower. Legend has it that her ghost still roams around the Queen's House, which has coined a reputation as one of the most haunted buildings at the tower.

Think that is scary? Think again. For one thing worse than a ghost avenging its death is the spirit of...a grizzly bear! That's right - according to tales that are still whispered in the ears of frightened tourists today, a huge ghostly bear appeared by the Martin Tower which had one guard so spooked that he reportedly died of shock!

But fear not - if you don't quite fancy being chased by ghosts, then you also have the option of feasting your eyes upon various exhibitions, and re-enactments at the tower. For example, visitors will get a chance to see the Crown Jewels, and go on various tours throughout the splendour that is the Tower of London.

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