The White Tower

The last place we are going to visit on our tour is the tower called the White Tower. This is the one that I told you about at the beginning of our walk, the one William the Conqueror ordered be built in 1070. This tower is really what people think of as the Tower of London, although that name really means all the buildings within the tower walls. The White Tower is where the kings lived with their families and their friends. They had everything they could want there. There were rooms where the laws were made, and rooms to have big feasts in, and even a chapel where the king could go to pray.

The walls are very thick, in many places as thick as 15 feet, can you imagine that? The walls that touch the outside of your house are maybe 4-6 inches thick. Boy, 15 feet is about the length of a car or a small room and to think this was just the walls! That’s because in the old days when people attacked castles and forts, you wanted a really strong wall. In the olden days it didn’t have windows, just slits in the walls. It must have been a little dark inside, and probably cold as well. But it was the best place for the king to live because nobody could bother him and he was safe there.

Although kings and queens used to live in the Tower of London they don’t live here today. The Queen of England now lives in a big house called Buckingham Palace. I expect you have heard of that, or seen it on television. Its probably nicer there because the Tower didn’t have things like electricity or hot water. It was cold in the winter because its made of stone. I wonder how they kept warm in those days? How do you think they did? The last king to live in the Tower of London was James I . He lived there in the sixteenth century…a long, long time ago.

And … hey! Look! That boy in the photograph is eating an ice cream cone! Just like me, Rascal! I bet I gave him that idea. Well, ok, maybe he just likes ice cream too!

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