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Tower of London

The Tower of London is a landmark in central London, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, just outside the City of London.

It is still officially known as Her Majesty’s Palace and Fortress, The Tower of London, although the last ruler to reside in it as a palace was King James I (1566 – 1625).

The White Tower, the square building with turrets on each corner that gave it its name, is actually in the middle of a complex of several buildings along the River Thames in London, which have served as fortresses, armories, treasuries, zoos/menageries, mints, palaces, places of execution, public records offices, observatories, shelters, and prisons (particularly for upper class prisoners).

This last use has led to the phrase “sent to the Tower” meaning “imprisoned”. One widely known example was that Elizabeth I was imprisoned for a time in the Tower during her sister Mary’s reign.

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