Evergreen’s Favourite Places
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.
The Tower is a World Heritage Site and home to the Crown Jewels.