I am embarrassed to admit, that until Sage developed a fascination with Queen Elizabeth I, this place wasn’t even on my radar. But once we learned young Elizabeth was held prisoner here by her half sister Queen Mary and that her mother Anne Boleyn had her head chopped off in the courtyard, well… yeah… we had to visit.
The ravens were probably my favorite part. Their cawing and their story give the Tower a very spooky feel. Legend has it, if the ravens are lost or fly away, the Crown will fall and Britain with it.
There’s also the mystery of the missing princes- The exhibit about the princes is projected on the inside of one of the tower buildings with suspenseful music and very creative animation. I loved it! So here’s the story… In 1483, Prince Edward of Wales was next in line for the throne. When his father, King Edward IV died, Prince Edward and his little brother mysteriously vanished. Almost 200 years later, workmen found two small skeletons buried at the base of a Tower staircase. Theory has it that these skeletons were the bodies of the missing princes! Historians suspect that their uncle had them smothered in their sleep so he could take the throne for himself. These poor little skeletons are now buried in Westminster Abbey.
We also got to see the worlds most expensive diamond (the Koh-I-Noor) One of the most famous legends about this diamond, is that the diamond can only be worn by female emperors and monarchs. If it is, they will reign long and prosperous. However, if a man wears the stone during his reign, he will die early. Photographs are not allowed inside the exhibit so here is a picture of it that I found on the internet.
I found the gorgeous chapel of St. John especially beautiful. I can’t imagine what this place would be like on a busy day, it was very peaceful when we visited and I could of sat in this chapel all day.
Adding to the creepy nature of the place were the medieval torture devices… it made me a little uncomfortable explaining those to Sage… we were quick to transition, “hey, look over there… someone is handing out ice cream!” ; )
We also had the pleasure of seeing a 900 year old toilet…
Unfortunately I couldn’t get pictures of the torture devices, or the toilet! So I guess we have to go back.