Area of Study: Tower of London

Europe is full of some of Earth’s most striking and famous man-made landmarks—and as an educator, you know their value goes beyond mere sightseeing. Here are just a few of the many educational stories that inspire us about the Eiffel Tower, Tower of London and the Colosseum. Which one will you tell?

The Tower of London has witnessed some of the most transformative events in Britain’s history. Exploring its storied halls and surrounding edifices is a clear reminder that it has served many roles—as a torture chamber, a questionable menagerie, a royal residence and a treasury.

1. Zoology

The Royal Menagerie was founded here at the turn of the 12th century, and it remained active for over 600 years. In a time before the printing press or zoos, it was the first (albeit crude) attempt to introduce exotic animals to the general public. You can still see the chambers where lions, bears and other ferocious animals were held.  Now the only wildlife are the famous ravens of the Tower who are under royal protection as residents of the Tower.

2. Criminal Justice

At the base of the Wakefield Tower, you can find a recreation of the infamous torture chambers and devices that were reserved for enemies of the state. Instruments ranged from manacles to the rack, but only 22 prisoners were actually executed here.

3. Economics

From 1278-1968, the Royal Mint was located in the Tower of London. It was here Henry VIII, facing massive debt, instituted the first ever debasement of England’s coinage by minting copper coins at the value of silver. As you walk the halls, consider the fact that Sir Isaac Newton once walked them too, as
Master of The Mint.

While reading about history is great, being there first hand is when learning really takes hold. Take your students all over England or help us create a custom itinerary based on your curriculum. Let’s make it happen.

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