The Tower of London, A Dark and Sinister Place?
The Tower of London is one of the capital's best known and most popular visitor attractions, as well as a World Heritage site, but it's had a long and bloody history. It had a dark and sinister reputation, although it was used as a palace for a while, it's also been a prison, a place of torture and of execution - notably by beheading with an axe. It's no wonder that many people have seen ghosts in the Tower.The Tower of London: A Brief History
Nowadays, visitors can see the places where executions took place, the Crown Jewels which Captain Blood attempted to steal, and the famous Yeoman Warders, nicknamed Beefeaters.
The Tower was not only a fortress but eventually became a royal palace, state prison, the Mint, a record office, observatory, and zoo. As a state prison it was used for criminals considered most dangerous to the state, and the Mint was the treasury for the Crown Jewels. It became a zoo, the original Zoo, in 1834 when pets that the king had accumulated over the years were among a great diversity. The zoo consisted of lions, leopards, bears wolves, and lynxes.
Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII, was tried and executed within the walls of the Tower.
An educated and influential queen with strong opinions on matters of policy, she fell foul of vicious court faction and religious politics.
Her failure to produce a son for the King also made her position precarious.