The Tower of London is one of the most imposing and
popular of London's historical sites. It comprises not one, but
20 towers. The oldest of which, the White Tower, dates back to
the llth century and the time of William the Conqueror.
Nowadays a lot of tourists visit the Tower of London, because
of the Tower's evil reputation as a prison. The Tower is famous
as home of the Crown Jewels. Today they can be viewed in
their new jewel house. They include the Crown of Queen
Elizabeth the Queen Mother which contains the celebrated
Many stories associated with British history come from
the Tower. In 1483 King Edward IV's two sons were murdered
in the so-called Bloody Tower. Over two centuries later the
skeletons of two little boys were found buried beneath steps
in the White Tower.
Traitor's Gate has steps leading down to the River Thames.
Countless prisoners, including the future Queen Elizabeth I
of England, were brought to the Tower by barge and ascended
the steps before being imprisoned. For many it was their last
moment of freedom before their death. But Elizabeth was
released from the Tower and became Queen. The King's second
wife, Anne Boleyn, was brought to trial there in 1536 and
beheaded. Six years later her cousin, Catherine, Henry VIII's
fifth wife, suffered the same fate. Sir Thomas More was
beheaded there in 1535.
Of course, no visit to the Tower would be complete without
seeing the ravens; huge black birds who are an official part
of the Tower community. Legend states that if the ravens
were to leave the Tower the Crown will fall, and Britain with
it. Under the special care of the Raven Master, the ravens are
fed a daily diet of raw meat. And there is no danger of them
flying away, because their wings are clipped.
1. What is the most imposing and popular site in London?
2. How many towers does it comprise?
2. What is the Tower of London famous for?
4. Tell something about Traitor's Gate.
5. Who is an official part of London's community?