Ever­green’s Favourite Places

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The great 18th- cen­tury writer Sa­muel John­son fa­mously de­clared “... when a man is tired of Lon­don, he is tired of life; for there is in Lon­don all that life can af­ford.” His words still ring true to this day and even those of us who rel­ish ru­ral tran­quil­lity find our­selves drawn to­wards the cap­i­tal city with its myr­iad at­trac­tions. From world­fa­mous land­marks, his­toric sites and mu­se­ums, to gal­leries, theatres and a host of events through­out the year, there is some­thing to in­ter­est ev­ery­one. For those who en­joy get­ting off the beaten track there are plenty of green spa­ces — in the shape of Lon­don’s many parks — and qui­eter by­ways to ex­plore.

One per­son who de­scribes a Lon­don land­mark as her “favourite place in the world”, is Ever­green reader Kathleen Hill, from Ply­mouth, De­von. She con­tacted us to nom­i­nate the

Tower of Lon­don for our Favourite Places Award.

Sit­u­ated on the North bank of the River Thames, the Tower of Lon­don is one of the His­toric Royal Palaces ( www. hrp. org. uk) and a World Her­itage Site at­tract­ing more than three mil­lion vis­i­tors a year.

Since the 11th cen­tury, when Wil­liam the Con­queror built the im­pos­ing White Tower, it has grown in size and served as a palace, fortress and prison. Over the cen­turies it has housed the Royal Mint, the Royal Ar­mouries and even a zoo, but it is prob­a­bly most fa­mous as the home of the Crown Jewels, which have been kept here since 1661.

Although it high­lights Bri­tain’s glo­ri­ous wealth of his­tory, many grue­some events have hap­pened here, in­clud­ing the im­pris­on­ment, ex­e­cu­tion and burial of three English queens: Lady Jane Grey, Anne Bo­leyn and Cather­ine Howard. Guy Fawkes and his fel­low Gun­pow­der Plot con­spir­a­tors were also im­pris­oned and in­ter­ro­gated at the Tower.

Vis­i­tors of all ages will be fas­ci­nated by the her­itage, sto­ries and cus­toms such as the Cer­e­mony of the Keys and the leg­end of the ravens who must never leave the Tower or else it, and the king­dom, will fall.

Kathleen says: “The Tower brings back so many won­der­ful mem­o­ries. My fa­ther was the first to take me there when I was quite young; I loved ev­ery­thing about it and I used to go there ev­ery time we had a hol­i­day. As I got older I would spend a whole day there. The place has wit­nessed so much of our his­tory. I like to think that maybe one of my an­ces­tors helped to build it; I was brought up in Lon­don as were all my fam­ily.”

Well, Kathleen, we are de­lighted that the Tower of Lon­don, which you tell us “holds a spe­cial place” in your heart, will be re­ceiv­ing one of our cer­tifi­cates to dis­play within its mag­nif­i­cent walls. Just like its con­tents and his­tory, the Tower is one of Bri­tain’s price­less trea­sures, an ex­cel­lent place to visit and a very wor­thy win­ner.

To rec­om­mend en­joy­able places to visit send de­tails and pho­to­graphs to: Ever­green’s Favourite Places, The Lyp­i­atts, Lans­down Road, Cheltenham, Glos GL50 2JA. Email: edi­[email protected]­er­green­magazine.co.uk

One of the Tower’s Yeo­man Warders.

DAVID MUSCROFT

The Tower is a World Her­itage Site and home to the Crown Jewels.

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