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Libby's Excellent London Adventures

Adventure #8

Tower Hill is more than "just" the Her Majesty's Palace and Tower of London. Arriving at Tower Hill tube station, standing outside the exit and turning a circle will afford you a look at things from Roman times to the present.

Near the station, you can see a portion of the Roman wall which originally surrounded Londinium, the Roman settlement. This area along the river was particularly defensible, as it was high ground and commanded both land and river.

Turning more, you can look over a small park, which was the site of the execution block for members of the nobility. (Those of "lesser class" were trundled off to what is now Marble Arch for execution by more gruesome means.) A small plaza and plaques commemorate this site.

Across the way, you will see a small church, All Hallows By The Tower. Of particular note to Americans is that this is the church where President John Quincy Adams was married and where William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, was baptized and educated. The original church was started here in 675 and one Saxon arch remains. A bit of Roman floor is also visible beneath the arch, discovered in 1926. The church survived the Great Fire in 1666, but was bombed out in World War II, with only the tower and walls remaining. The late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, laid a new foundation stone in 1948 and attended the re-dedication in 1957.

Dominating the area is Her Majesty's Palace and Tower of London. On the orders of William the Conqueror, the central keep was begun in wood in 1067. The present stone structure, the White Tower, was begun in 1078. This fortress was part of the string of strongholds built by William to secure his newly conquered territory. Windsor Castle is another in this string.







A bit of Roman wall.  Exiting Tower Hill Station, you will see the other side of this wall.

Site of Tower Hill's execution site - for nobility only.

The White Tower.  Central keep of the original fortress complex.






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