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Tower of London

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Tower of London *
Tower of London viewed from the River Thames.jpg
View of Tower from the Thames
Country Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv
Reference 488
Region ** Europe
Inscription history
Inscription 1988 (12th Session)

The Tower of London is an ancient Norman stone fortress in London, England. It stands on the bank of the River Thames, in the oldest part of the city.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[1]


The fortress was built by William the Conqueror, King William I, starting in 1078. The moat was built by Richard I, using water diverted from the River Thames.

The Tower had many uses. Its main function was to protect Norman rule in the years after the conquest. It was a prison, and a place of execution. Today, the Crown Jewels are kept there. This is the collection of jewels owned by the British state, and sometimes worn by the monarch. There is also a museum of armour.

Only the most important people were executed (by axe) inside the Tower of London. Among the most famous were:

The Tower of London has a collection of ravens, large black birds of the Crow family. They are taken care of by the staff who work there. The ravens' wing feathers are kept short so they cannot fly away. This is because a legend (story) says that if the ravens leave the Tower, the Tower and the Kingdom will fall.

The closest Underground station to the Tower of London is Tower Hill.

Related pages


  1. UNESCO, "Tower of London"; retrieved 2012-4-19.

Other websites

Media related to Tower of London at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 51°30′29″N 0°04′34″E / 51.50806°N 0.07611°E / 51.50806; 0.07611

This article is about a World Heritage Site