Monday, October 10, 2005

16 Aug 05: Tower of London, part two

...Continuing from 16 Aug 05: Tower of London.

The Bloody Tower

The crowd was pretty noisy when we were at the Bloody Tower, and I could hardly hear the Yeoman Warder who was guiding the tour. My first impression was that the Bloody Tower must have been a place where many have lost their lives.

I was quite close in my speculation. This was what I found:

The tower was originally called the Garden Tower because it was at the corner of the Queen's House garden, but during the sixteenth century its name was changed to the Bloody Tower because of its supposed association with the young Princes in the Tower, who disappeared in 1483.

The princes were supposedly, 12-years-old Edward and his younger brother, Richard. They were sons of Edward IV. They have been lodged in the Tower following their father's death. Edward was supposed to be crowned, but it turned out that their uncle, Richard was crowned in the young Edward's place. For some reasons, the princes disappeared from view after some time, as best as I know. Well, the fight for power seems to have exist since history.


The Chapel Royal of St Peter and Vincula

In this chapel, photography is prohibited. Visitors have to take off headwears (i.e. hats and caps) as a sign of respect.

I realised that unless one joins the Yeoman Warder tour, it is unlikely that one could enter this chapel on his / her own. Otherwise, only those attending a religious service will be allowed into the chapel.

This chapel was the burial place of some of the most famous Tower prisoners. Examples are: Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard and Jane Grey, Sir Thomas More and Bishop John Fisher.

The tour ended and while I did not remember the Yeoman Warder's last concluding words (for I was feeling tired by then), I did remember people forming a line. I thought for a while, and then I saw the Yeoman Warder holding his hat on his hand. I realised why. In Britain, London at least, if you were to join a guided tour (especially one that is considered a free one), be sure to give at least a tip of about one to two pounds to the tour guide. This is possibly general courtesy, or expectation, in Britain?


After the Yeoman Warder tour, I went about the Tower of London on my own. In what is considered lousy photography, I shall show you what I saw when I walked down this flight of stairs:

Actually, I don't have my pair of binoculars with me that day, and I can't see too far. It was the music that attracted me.

I saw this gentleman making music by making turns on one of the mechanism of the instrument in his hands, and presto, we have music! Behind him is a dulcimer. This was the instrument that the Chinese's yang qin was adapted from. I knew this because I used to play (the double bass) in a Chinese orchestra. Read this site for more information:

Crown Jewels

There are a lot more to be seen in the Tower of London, but I shall end this post with the Crown Jewels. The Crown Jewels were housed in the Waterloo Barracks when I visited the Tower of London.

When I entered, I could see a series of introduction on the use and history of the jewels. I like the idea that the footage of the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 was shown to the public. It was beautiful, and the ceremony was magnificient.

Since no photograhy was allowed, I decided to buy myself a few postcards containing images of some of the crown jewels.

If you like to see the crown jewels, you should visit this site:


Since I might have bored you with average photographs, I shall put up a few slightly better photographs taken at the Tower of London very shortly to compensate.




mistipurple said...

not bored. :)
pictures you took were well taken, don't worry.

Simple American said...

Not bored at all. I thought the London Bridge and Big Ben was all there was to the Tower of London. I must go back and see.