Tower of London

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The Tower of London is a medieval fortress in the heart of London. It originated as the White Tower, a stone castle built by William I in 1078 to overawe his recently-conquered capital, but was subsequently enlarged and strengthened. It served as a fortress, a palace and a prison over the centuries. The Princes in the Tower - the child king Edward V and his younger brother Richard, the Duke of York - were (almost certainly) murdered here in 1583-4. The Tower was the place of imprisonment and execution of many notable prisoners, including William Wallace, Sir Thomas More, Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard, Lady Jane Grey, and Sir Walter Raleigh. Several German spies were executed by firing squad at the Tower during World War I, and one during World War II: the last execution to take place there. Rudolph Hess was held prisoner at the Tower between 1941 and 1946.

The Tower served as a royal palace from its foundation until the rule of Oliver Cromwell, and it housed the royal menagerie from the early thirteenth century until 1835. Today the Tower is home to seven ravens, for an old legend says that if the ravens leave then the Tower will fall and with it the kingdom.[1]

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