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"A.D. 1097. This was in all things a very heavy-timed year. Many counties that were confined to London by work were grievously oppressed on account of the wall they were building about the tower… and the work of the king's hall that they were building at Westminster" - The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.


To obtain a proper conception of the Tower of London and its place in English history, one must discard the common impression that the Tower was merely a stronghold and a prison.

As a prison, indeed, the Tower has served in our own time, for it was here that enemy spies taken in England during the war were imprisoned, and where the execution took place of those who were condemned.

The pathos and romance of its old-time associations as a prison, however, have been allowed to obscure other aspects of the history of the Tower.

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