The Tower of London is an imposing group of buildings inside an even more imposing set of stone walls. The oldest building on the site is The White Tower which was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 as a way of asserting his power of the people of London. The castle has been used as a prison, a royal residence, an armoury, a treasurey, a menagerie and the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. In it’s history, controlling the tower was an important aspect of controlling the country. Under Tudor rule it became less of a royal residence and more of a prison. Two of Henry VIII’s wives were executed in the Tower grounds: Anne Boleyn, who was accused of adultery, insest, and witchcraft. For more than ten years Henry VIII pursued Anne, she was his greatest passion but that passion turned ugly when she failed to provide a promised son. She was the mother of Elizabeth I. Anne was Queen from 1533 to 1536. Catherine Howard, Henry VIII’s fifth wife was also executed for adultery, the King was well into his forties while Catherine was barely out of her teens. Elizabeth I also spent time in the tower, accused of treason against her older sister Mary. Amongst the last prisoners to be held in the tower were the Kray twins, held in 1952 for failing to report for national service.
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