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Where Is the Tower of London?
Cover of Where Is the Tower of London?
Where Is the Tower of London?
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The Tower of London holds almost a thousand years' worth of secrets!The Tower of London draws more than 2 million visitors a year! Almost 1000 years old and first built by William the Conqueror in...
The Tower of London holds almost a thousand years' worth of secrets!The Tower of London draws more than 2 million visitors a year! Almost 1000 years old and first built by William the Conqueror in...
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  • The Tower of London holds almost a thousand years' worth of secrets!
    The Tower of London draws more than 2 million visitors a year! Almost 1000 years old and first built by William the Conqueror in 1066, the tower has been a fortress, a palace, a zoo, and an exhibit site for the amazing Crown Jewels. But the tower's reputation as a prison is probably what accounts for its popularity! Two young princes in the time of evil King Richard III were never again heard from after entering the castle, and two of King Henry VIII's wives were held captive here. Author Janet B. Pascal brings to life one of the most fascinating landmarks in the world.

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  • From the book Where Is the Tower of London?


    In 1934, a song called "With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm" became popular in England. The song was about a ghostly woman. Every night she could be seen gliding along the halls of the Bloody Tower in London. Her head had been chopped off, and she carried it under her arm like a soccer ball.

    Who was the song talking about? A queen. A queen of England. Her name was Anne Boleyn. She was one of the wives of King Henry VIII, who had her head cut off in 1536. The Bloody Tower is part of the great Tower of London. It earned its name even before the days of Anne Boleyn. Two children who were imprisoned there were murdered. Many others suffered the same fate as those children and Anne Boleyn. Others were hanged or tortured.

    But the Tower of London is not just a prison where many people met bloody deaths. It has also been a grand palace, an armory for weapons, a jewel storehouse, and a zoo. It has stood for almost a thousand years. During this time, it has been the home of kings and princes. For years, all the coins in England were made here. It has the world's most famous diamond on display. And the first elephant in England lived here.


    Chapter 1: William the Conqueror


    The one date that every English schoolchild knows is 1066. This is the year William the Conqueror became king of England. It marks the beginning of modern English history.

    Before 1066, people in England were known as Anglo-Saxons. One of their last kings was named Edward the Confessor. (All Anglo-Saxon kings had names like this. Edward's father was called Ethelred the Unready because he always lost battles against invaders.)

    Edward was a very good man. He ruled for many years. After his death, he was made a saint. Unfortunately, he did not have any children to leave his throne to. And he did not give clear instructions about who should rule after him. A powerful Anglo-Saxon lord named Harold Godwinson took the throne after Edward died.

    However, over in Normandy, part of northern France, another lord believed he should be England's next king. This was William, the Duke of Normandy. (He later became known as William the Conqueror.) William was only Edward's second cousin, once removed. So he was not a close relative. He was not next in line for the throne. But William swore Edward had promised the throne to him.

    William and the Normans invaded England, landing on the southern shore. In the Battle of Hastings, they defeated the Anglo-Saxon army. Harold was killed. William was now king of England. He took large areas of land that had belonged to Anglo-Saxon lords and gave them to his followers. Of course, the Anglo-Saxon lords were very angry about this. Many of them were ready to fight William to take back their country. They wanted an Anglo-Saxon king. William knew he could only hold on to England if he and his men were strong, protected themselves from their enemies, and were always prepared to fight.

    So William started building fortresses all over England. People think there may have been as many as five hundred of them. These forts would keep him safe from the angry, conquered people. And soldiers living in the forts would quickly stop any people who tried to protest.

    William was crowned in London, the city where England's kings lived. During the ceremony, a hostile crowd of London citizens protested outside. A group of William's men with swords had to rush out to stop them. This showed William that he needed to build his strongest fort in London, to control its citizens and keep him safe from angry mobs.


    Chapter 2:...

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    Penguin Young Readers Group
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