West End Waterloo Barracks is where you will find the longest queues. Built in 1845, it’s located within the Tower and houses the Crown Jewels which are permanently displayed inside a special vault. On the second floor, there is a room where you can admire the Great Sword of State from 1678 that was used for each Opening of Parliament. You will also find the Insignia of Orders of Knighthood and the Robes of Royalty worn during coronations. Visit Tower of London Tour before reading this.
Crown Jewels that are in the vault were not that old. During the Commonwealth, the monarchy symbols that had been around for centuries disappeared. St Edward’s Crown weighs 5 pounds in honor of Edward The Confessor. Made of gold and used at the coronation Charles II, it was originally made for Charles IX, 1661. The Imperial State Crown was made for Queen Victoria by 1838, and is set with three thousand jewels. Imperial Indian Crown is made up of over 1,000 diamonds. George V donned it at the 1911 great Delhi Durbar. His Queen wore this crown when she was crowned the following year. Orbs are included in this wonderful collection, as well as scepters and swords.
What clothes does an elephant use in times of war? Answers to these questions can be found only in the New Armories of Tower of London. There, the elephant’s armour was most likely returned from Clive of India winning the Battle of Plassey (1757). That is just the latest addition to a collection that covers the eighteenth, nineteenth and even twentieth centuries.
New Armories are a thirteenth century work that were placed on the wall between Broad Arrow Tower & Salt Tower. Salt Tower’s sad stone carvings, including a diagram to cast horoscopes, were cut out in 1561 by someone that had lots of spare time. One theory is that gunpowder was once stored at the Salt Tower.
North of the Armories lies the Regimental Museum of the Royal Fusiliers. The City of London Regiment was created in the Tower of London, in 1685. They were merged in 1968 with another regiment. They would have been guarding the gate in the days when an official password was needed to enter. Millions of people enter the Byward Tower each day.
Traitors’ Gate used to be the way medieval kings and conspirators who questioned the authority of the throne or acted against the state would enter the Tower. This was done by barge, boat, or a ship that floats in under the 60-foot-wide arch. Now that the river is no longer there, it used to flow beneath St Thomas’s Tower and the Gate underneath it when both were constructed around 1242. King Henry III also built the Bloody Tower on the opposite side, which was finally completed by Edward 1. Thomas Cranmer the archbishop of Canterbury who was burnt in 1556 was incarcerated here. Also, Sir Walter Raleigh who wrote the incomplete History of the World, 1614. The infamous Jeffreys, the judge of the Bloody Assize who died in delirium 18 April 1689, were also incarcerated.