William the Conqueror began his reign by building a large stone tower that dominated the London fortress. As this was the main royal base in England for ruling, every successive monarch made improvements to make it look more impressive. You can get the best Tower of London Tour in this sites.
William, duke of Normandy, invaded England and defeated King Harold’s English forces at Battle of Hastings. As he knew he had to secure England’s largest city, London, he didn’t attack straight away but instead destroyed the surrounding area. He sent an advance guard into London to help build the fortress in preparation for his entry.
To protect himself from the ferocious population, several strongholds had been built in the City after the coronation of William in Westminster Abbey. William may have had a fortress in the southwest corner of Londinium Roman wall, near the Tower of London. They were eventually replaced with the White Tower, which was a massive stone structure that proclaimed the power and might of the Norman King.
Henry VIII, who reigned from 1509-47, continued on the same path as his predecessors in building the royal palaces. But he took it to a new level. The timber-framed accommodation was primarily built for Anne Boleyn’s comfort, in anticipation of her coronation. They were not used much and, from that point, the Tower no longer served as a residence for royalty.
Henry VIII’s decision in 1530 to split from Rome boosted the Tower population of political and religious prisoner. At the same time, England had to learn to accept their new monarch as supreme leader of the Protestant Church of England. People held in the Tower included Bishop Fisher, Sir Thomas More as well two of Henry’s wife. All were executed.
Mary, Henry’s daughter (1553-8) brought back the Catholicism in England. She was a short-lived monarch who saw many Protestants, and even rivals, imprisoned on the Tower.
The tower deteriorated over time. Duke of Wellington’s zealous leadership, who served as Constable of Tower from 1826-1852, prompted the restoration of the tower. It was cleaned. The moat, which was becoming increasingly stinky and stagnant, was then drained. Construction of an enormous new barracks for 1,000 men was started on the Grand Storehouse site, destroyed by fire. Waterloo was the name of the barracks that the Duke laid down on June 14, 1845.
Over time, its defensive role diminished. For example, in the late 1840s the Tower was used to quell disturbances at London rallies and protests against Chartists’ demands for electoral change. In the 1840s more defenses were built including a large brick and stone base that was eventually destroyed by an air raid during World War II. However, no Chartist attacks ever occurred.
Many historic Tower institutions also left at the turn of the century. The first institution to leave was the Royal Mint, in 1812; then came the Menagerie and, in the early 1830s the London Zoo. After the Office of Ordnance, it was 1855 before finally moving to its new home in 1858.
Today’s Tower is the result of a fascination in 19th-century England with its turbulent and often gruesome past. Anthony Salvin a prominent Gothic Revival figure was asked in the 1850s by the Victorian public to transform the tower into something more reminiscent of medieval times. Salvin transformed Beauchamp Tower, replacing the windows, doors, battlements and exterior walls to create a suitable display for prisoners’ graffiti.