I am delighted to host a stop on the blog tour to celebrate the UK publication of ‘On The Trail of the Yorks’ by Kristie Dean.
You can buy her book from:
Thank you to Kristie for this guest extract about the Tower of London.
Tower of London, London
Anyone who has visited London in the last 900 years would at least partially recognise this bastion of the city. Work on the immense structure commenced during the reign of William the Conqueror and was finished by 1100.
The White Tower was built to dominate the land surrounding it, and at 90-feet tall, dwarfed the other structures near it. Over the next few centuries, succeeding monarchs would add to the Tower. Henry III had two new waterfront towers built to serve as luxurious lodgings for the royal family. He also built a curtain wall and reinforced it with nine towers and a moat.
Edward I filled in the existing moat and added another curtain wall and a moat. The young princes would have seen a group of buildings whose general layout is much the same as today. Unfortunately, several of the medieval buildings have been lost to time, including buildings the boys would have known. Edward V was moved here soon after his arrival in London. This was not unusual, since kings often stayed at the Tower prior to their coronation. The fact that his mother was in sanctuary at Westminster may have also played a role in the decision.
After Richard, Duke of York left sanctuary, he joined his older brother here at the tower. At some point between then and Richard’s coronation, the boys were moved from the king’s lodgings to the White Tower. Tradition says that the boys were kept in the Garden Tower, which later became known as the Bloody Tower, but more likely they would have been held in the White Tower. If the boys were murdered, this would also have occurred in the White Tower. At the time of this publication, there was an interesting exhibit in the Bloody Tower regarding the princes.
Once you are inside the White Tower, enjoy the exhibitions on the ground floor before heading up to the first floor where the Chapel of St John the Evangelist is located. The room looks different than it would have appeared to Edward V and Richard. Imagine it whitewashed, with brightly coloured paintings marking its walls; picture light streaming through the exquisite medieval stained glass installed by Henry III. Take a minute to examine the columns to see the carvings along their bases. Once Edward V and his brother were placed in the White Tower, he began coming to confession daily. It is a poignant picture to imagine the two young boys praying in this chapel, their heads bent low, almost touching.
The large room adjacent to the chapel was the king’s lodgings before the newer buildings replaced it. This larger room may have then been used for public meetings, while the smaller room was a private chamber. Perhaps the boys were lodged in this area.
It was in the White Tower that the bones of two boys were discovered in 1674. Near the former entrance to the White Tower, about halfway up the staircase is a break in the wall. Under the remnants of the staircase was where the two bodies were found. These bones were ultimately placed in Westminster Abbey because they were thought to be those of Edward and Richard.
For more about the Tower of London and the York family, read ‘On the Trail of the Yorks’ published by Amberley.
About the Author
Kristie Dean holds a master’s degree in history and is especially fascinated with the medieval era. In addition to history, she has a passion for travel and teaching. The Tower of London is one of her favourite places to explore. When not traveling, she enjoys spending time with her husband, two cats, and three dogs.
Kristie is also the author of ‘The World of Richard III’ which was published by Amberley last year. It will be published in paper back under the title of ‘On the Trail of Richard III’ in May.
You can find Kristie at:
If you missed any of the previous stops on the tour, you can find them at: