Tower of London and the Queens

A beefeater snatches a raven at the Tower of London

A beefeater snatches a raven at the Tower of London

You could not find a more masculine monument in England than the Tower of London.  It’s a medieval fortress built by William the Conquerer shortly after the Norman invasion of 1066.  Over the centuries, it’s been a place of battle, a fortress, a prison, an execution site, but it’s also a royal palace.  And despite its hyper-masculine roots, it’s also a place where women have been a part of and shaped history.  But sometimes we forget that in the face of ravens and beefeaters.

Last weekend I went to explore the Tower of London myself, but I skipped the Beefeater tour and went looking for the female stories behind the Tower.  And I found a lot.  From Elizabeth Woodville and her controversial marriage to King Edward IV, to Henry VIII’s two wives who lost their heads on Tower Green (Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard), there was so much to discover.  (Elizabeth’s two sons were murdered and their bodies discovered under the stairs of the White Tower).  The Chapel St Peter’s ad Vincula is the final resting place of Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard, Margaret Pole, and Lady Jane Grey, who was the shortest reigning monarch in English history at just nine days.  The future Elizabeth I was imprisoned in the Tower by her half-sister Bloody Mary.  So many female stories, so little time but you can enjoy 5 minutes here:

If you would like to explore more with me then come along on a castles and countesses tour with me on 21st March.  You can get your tickets here.

The Queens of the Tower - from joyous coronations to heart-breaking demises

The Queens of the Tower – from joyous coronations to heart-breaking demises

What would you like to know about the women who are associated with the Tower of London?  Or what would you like to know about visiting the Tower of London? Leave a comment below and let me know! Happy Travels

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