Tower of London (3): Entering the Tower

Posted: March 4, 2016 in History, London, Medieval History, UK
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The combination of the Middle Tower and the Byward Tower linked by a causeway across the moat form the landward entrance to the Tower precincts.

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On the outer side of the moat the Middle Tower, dating from around 1280 protects the access to the causeway. The coat of arms over the door leave no doubt as to whose castle you were entering. At one time the defences would also have been enhanced by the addition of portcullis within the towers and a drawbridge.

Byward Tower

Byward Tower

At the Tower side of the moat is the Byward Tower, which also dates from around 1280. It is believed the name came from its proximity to the warder’s hall – ‘By the warders’ becoming shortened in time to ‘Byward’. The tops of the Tower have been redeveloped in the 17th and 18th century replacing the original medieval structures.

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View back across the causeway from inside the Byward Tower

View back across the causeway from inside the Byward Tower

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