The walls are unbelievably thick
The tower is incredibly fortified. Any prisoner who has ever tried to escape it had to face walls that are 15 feet thick. That’s about 2.5 times the size of a grown man!
The last execution
Where there are medieval prisoners there are executions, and the Tower of London is no different. Over the years, there have been 22 executions in the tower. The latest one, however, was in 1941, long after the middle ages were over. The man executed was a German spy named Josef Jakobs, who tried landing in the city with his parachute and faced a death penalty. The chair on which he was shot can still be seen at the London Royal Armouries.
While many of the executions were performed in front of a live audience, some were performed a little more privately. Usually, those people were royals or nobles. Such was the beheading of Margaret Pole, the Countess of Salisbury. It’s a good thing this execution was private because apparently, it would have been very humiliating for the executioner. Apparently, he did such a poor job he needed to put his ax to her throat 11 times before cutting it all the way off. Yikes!
The original plan
The Tower of London was originally meant to serve not as a prison, but as a personal fortress for William the Conqueror could be alone when he wished. Only after it was complete, he realized the jail potential of the place is far too great to ignore.
UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites features contains nearly 10,000 locations, one of which is obviously the Tower of London. There are plenty of medieval structures on this list, but the Tower may be the most well-preserved of them all.