James II of England
James II and VII was King of England and Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685 until he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The last Roman Catholic monarch of England and Ireland, his reign is now remembered for struggles over religious tolerance. However, it involved the principles of absolutism and divine right of kings and his deposition ended a century of political and civil strife by confirming the primacy of Parliament over the Crown. James inherited the thrones of England and Scotland with widespread support in all three countries based on the principle of divine right or birth. Tolerance for his personal Catholicism did not apply to it in general and when the English and Scottish Parliaments refused to pass his measures, James attempted to impose them by decree. In June 1688, two events turned dissent into a crisis; the second was the prosecution of the Seven Bishops for seditious libel. Anti-Catholic riots in England and Scotland now made it seem only his removal as monarch could prevent a civil war.
Representatives of the English political elite invited William to assume the English throne. In February 1689, Parliament held he had'vacated' the English throne and installed William and Mary as joint monarchs, establishing the principle that sovereignty derived from Parliament, not birth. James landed in Ireland on 14 March 1689 in an attempt to recover his kingdoms but despite a simultaneous rising in Scotland, in April a Scottish Convention followed their English colleagues by ruling James had'forfeited' the throne and offered it to William and Mary. After defeat at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690, James returned to France where he spent the rest of his life in exile at Saint-Germain, protected by Louis XIV. James, the second surviving son of King Charles I and his wife, Henrietta Maria of France, was born at St James's Palace in London on 14 October 1633; that same year, he was baptised by William Laud, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury. He was educated by private tutors, along with his older brother, the future King Charles II, the two sons of the Duke of Buckingham and Francis Villiers.
At the age of three, James was appointed Lord High Admiral. He was designated Duke of York at birth, invested with the Order of the Garter in 1642, formally created Duke of York in January 1644; the King's disputes with the English Parliament grew into the English Civil War. James accompanied his father at the Battle of Edgehill, where he narrowly escaped capture by the Parliamentary army, he subsequently stayed in Oxford, the chief Royalist stronghold, where he was made a M. A. by the University on 1 November 1642 and served as colonel of a volunteer regiment of foot. When the city surrendered after the siege of Oxford in 1646, Parliamentary leaders ordered the Duke of York to be confined in St James's Palace. Disguised as a woman, he escaped from the Palace in 1648 with the help of Joseph Bampfield, crossed the North Sea to The Hague; when Charles I was executed by the rebels in 1649, monarchists proclaimed James's older brother king as Charles II of England. Charles II was recognised as king by the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of Ireland, was crowned King of Scotland at Scone in 1651.
Although he was proclaimed King in Jersey, Charles was unable to secure the crown of England and fled to France and exile. Like his brother, James sought refuge in France, serving in the French army under Turenne against the Fronde, against their Spanish allies. In the French army James had his first true experience of battle where, according to one observer, he "ventures himself and chargeth gallantly where anything is to be done". Turenne's favour led to James being given command of a captured Irish regiment in December 1652, being appointed Lieutenant-General in 1654. In the meantime, Charles was attempting to reclaim his throne, but France, although hosting the exiles, had allied itself with Oliver Cromwell. In 1656, Charles turned instead to Spain – an enemy of France – for support, an alliance was made. In consequence, James was forced to leave Turenne's army. James quarrelled with his brother over the diplomatic choice of Spain over France. Exiled and poor, there was little that either Charles or James could do about the wider political situation, James travelled to Bruges and joined the Spanish army under Louis, Prince of Condé in Flanders, where he was given command as Captain-General of six regiments of British volunteers and fought against his former French comrades at the Battle of the Dunes.
During his service in the Spanish army, James became friendly with two Irish Catholic brothers in the Royalist entourage and Richard Talbot, became somewhat estranged from his brother's Anglican advisers. In 1659, the French and Spanish made peace. James, doubtful of his brother's chances of regaining the throne, considered taking a Spanish offer to be an admiral in their navy, he declined the position.
Woolwich is a district of south-east London, within the Royal Borough of Greenwich. A town in Kent, it has been part of the London metropolitan area since the 19th century. In 1965, most of the former Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich became part of Greenwich Borough, of which it remains the administrative centre; the town is a river crossing point, with the Woolwich Ferry and the Woolwich foot tunnel crossing to North Woolwich in the London Docklands. Throughout the 17th, 18th, 19th and most of the 20th century, Woolwich was an important naval and industrial town. After several decades of economic hardship and social deprivation, large-scale urban renewal projects have turned its fortunes around, it is expected that the town, identified in the London Plan as "opportunity area", will evolve from "major centre" to "metropolitan centre" within Greater London in the next few decades. Woolwich is situated 13.7 km from Charing Cross. It has a 2.5 km long frontage to the south bank of the Thames river.
From the riverside it rises up along the northern slopes of Shooter's Hill towards the common and the ancient London-Dover Road. The ancient parish of Woolwich, more or less the present-day wards Woolwich Riverside and Woolwich Common, comprises 297 ha; this included North Woolwich, now part of the London Borough of Newham. The ancient parishes of Plumstead and Eltham became part of the civil parish of Woolwich in 1930. Parts of the wards Glyndon and Shooter's Hill are referred to as Woolwich, although this definition is not accepted by all; the nearest areas are Abbey Wood, Charlton, Greenwich, Lewisham, North Woolwich, Shooter's Hill, Thamesmead and Well Hall. Woolwich is made up of the Woolwich Common and Riverside wards as well as the ward of Glyndon to the east of the town centre, they had a combined population of 54,790 at the time of the 2011 census. Woolwich has been inhabited since at least the Iron Age. Remains of a Celtic oppidum, established sometime between the 3rd and 1st century BCE, in the late Roman period re-used as a fort, were found at the current Waterfront development site between Beresford Street and the Thames.
According to the Survey of London, "this defensive earthwork encircled the landward sides of a riverside settlement, the only one of its kind so far located in the London area, that may have been a significant port, anterior to London". A path connected the riverside settlement with Watling Street also of Iron Age origin. Sandy Hill Road may be a remnant of this early path, it is believed that the name Woolwich derives from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning "trading place for wool". It is not clear whether Woolwich was a proper -wich town, since there are no traces of extensive artisanal activity from the Early Middle Ages. However, in 2015 Oxford Archaeology discovered a Saxon burial site near the riverside with 76 skeletons from the late 7th or early 8th century; the absence of grave deposits indicates. The first church, which stood to the north of the present parish church, was certainly pre-Norman and dedicated to Saint Lawrence, it was rebuilt in stone around 1100. From the 10th till the mid-12th century Woolwich was controlled by the abbots of St. Peter's Abbey in Ghent.
This may have been a result of a gift of 918 from Ælfthryth, daughter of King Alfred and Countess of Flanders, in that case the first recorded grant of English lands to a foreign ecclesiastic institution. As a result of this tenure Woolwich is not mentioned in the Domesday Book; some of the Ghent lands passed to the royal manors of Dartford and Eltham as early as 1100. Not included were a riverside quay held by Holy Trinity Priory, Aldgate, a wharf held by St Mary's Priory and land around Plumstead owned by Bartholomew de Burghersh, 2nd Baron Burghersh referred to as the Burrage Estate. Medieval Woolwich was susceptible to flooding. In 1236 many were killed by a flood. Woolwich Ferry may be older. Around Bell Water Gate some private shipbuilding or repair may have existed in the 15th century. A windmill was mentioned around 1450. Several pottery kilns have been discovered north of Woolwich High Street and Beresford Street, testifying of a unbroken tradition of pottery production from at least the 14th century until the 17th century.
Woolwich remained a small Kentish settlement until the beginning of the 16th century, when it began to develop into a maritime and industrial centre. In 1512 it became home to Woolwich Dockyard known as "The King's Yard", founded by Henry VIII to built his flagship Henry Grace à Dieu. Many great ships were built here, such as the Prince Royal, the Sovereign of the Seas, the Royal Charles, the Dolphin and the Beagle; the dockyard went through many ups and downs but survived for three and a half centuries, closing down in 1869. Following the establishment of the dockyard, Martin Bowes who had gathered a fortune at the Royal Mint, bought riverside holdings in Woolwich and Plumstead in the 1530s, some of it former church land that had become available after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, his mansion was Tower Place, closed in by a ropeyard and warehouses with open-air storage known as Gun Wharf or Gun Yard The Warren the Royal Arsenal. The arsenal developed from a place of storage into a coll
Devon known as Devonshire, its common and official name, is a county of England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south. It is part of South West England, bounded by Cornwall to the west, Somerset to the north east, Dorset to the east; the city of Exeter is the county town. The county includes the districts of East Devon, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge and West Devon. Plymouth and Torbay are each geographically part of Devon, but are administered as unitary authorities. Combined as a ceremonial county, Devon's area is 6,707 km2 and its population is about 1.1 million. Devon derives its name from Dumnonia. During the British Iron Age, Roman Britain, the early Middle Ages, this was the homeland of the Dumnonii Brittonic Celts; the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain resulted in the partial assimilation of Dumnonia into the Kingdom of Wessex during the eighth and ninth centuries. The western boundary with Cornwall was set at the River Tamar by King Æthelstan in 936.
Devon was constituted as a shire of the Kingdom of England. The north and south coasts of Devon each have both cliffs and sandy shores, the county's bays contain seaside resorts, fishing towns, ports; the inland terrain is rural and hilly, has a lower population density than many other parts of England. Dartmoor is the largest open space in southern England, at 954 km2. To the north of Dartmoor are the Culm Measures and Exmoor. In the valleys and lowlands of south and east Devon the soil is more fertile, drained by rivers including the Exe, the Culm, the Teign, the Dart, the Otter; as well as agriculture, much of the economy of Devon is based on tourism. The comparatively mild climate and landscape make Devon a destination for recreation and leisure in England, with visitors attracted to the Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks; the name Devon derives from the name of the Britons who inhabited the southwestern peninsula of Britain at the time of the Roman conquest of Britain known as the Dumnonii, thought to mean "deep valley dwellers" from proto Celtic *dubnos'deep'.
In the Brittonic, Devon is known as Welsh: Dyfnaint, Breton: Devnent and Cornish: Dewnens, each meaning "deep valleys." Among the most common Devon placenames is -combe which derives from Brittonic cwm meaning'valley' prefixed by the name of the possessor. William Camden, in his 1607 edition of Britannia, described Devon as being one part of an older, wider country that once included Cornwall: THAT region which, according to the Geographers, is the first of all Britaine, growing straiter still and narrower, shooteth out farthest into the West, was in antient time inhabited by those Britans whom Solinus called Dumnonii, Ptolomee Damnonii For their habitation all over this Countrey is somewhat low and in valleys, which manner of dwelling is called in the British tongue Dan-munith, in which sense the Province next adjoyning in like respect is at this day named by the Britans Duffneit, to say, Low valleys, but the Country of this nation is at this day divided into two parts, knowen by names of Cornwall and Denshire, The term "Devon" is used for everyday purposes e.g. "Devon County Council" but "Devonshire" continues to be used in the names of the "Devonshire and Dorset Regiment" and "The Devonshire Association".
One erroneous theory is that the "shire" suffix is due to a mistake in the making of the original letters patent for the Duke of Devonshire, resident in Derbyshire. However, there are references to "Defenascire" in Anglo-Saxon texts from before 1000 AD, which translates to modern English as "Devonshire"; the term Devonshire may have originated around the 8th century, when it changed from Dumnonia to Defenascir. Kents Cavern in Torquay had produced. Dartmoor is thought to have been occupied by Mesolithic hunter-gatherer peoples from about 6000 BC; the Romans held the area under military occupation for around 350 years. The area began to experience Saxon incursions from the east around 600 AD, firstly as small bands of settlers along the coasts of Lyme Bay and southern estuaries and as more organised bands pushing in from the east. Devon became a frontier between Brittonic and Anglo-Saxon Wessex, it was absorbed into Wessex by the mid 9th century. A genetic study carried out by the University of Oxford & University College London discovered separate genetic groups in Cornwall and Devon, not only were there differences on either side of the Tamar, with a division exactly along the modern county boundary dating back to the 6th Century but between Devon and the rest of Southern England, similarities with the modern northern France, including Brittany.
This suggests the Anglo-Saxon migration into Devon was limited rather than a mass movement of people. The border with Cornwall was set by King Æthelstan on the east bank of the River Tamar in 936 AD. Danish raids occurred sporadically along many coastal parts of Devon between around 800AD and just before the time of the Norman conquest, including the silver mint at Hlidaforda Lydford in 997 and Taintona in 1001. Devon has featured in most of th
Belfast is a city in the United Kingdom, the capital city of Northern Ireland, standing on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast of Ireland. It is second-largest on the island of Ireland, it had a population of 333,871 as of 2015. By the early 19th century, Belfast became a major port, it played a key role in the Industrial Revolution, becoming the biggest linen-producer in the world, earning it the nickname "Linenopolis". By the time it was granted city status in 1888, it was a major centre of Irish linen production, tobacco-processing and rope-making. Shipbuilding was a key industry. Belfast as of 2019 has a major aerospace and missiles industry. Industrialisation and the inward migration it brought made Belfast Ireland's biggest city and it became the capital of Northern Ireland following the Partition of Ireland in 1922, its status as a global industrial centre ended in the decades after the Second World War of 1939–1945. Belfast suffered in the Troubles: in the 1970s and 1980s it was one of the world's most dangerous cities.
However, a survey conducted by a finance company and published in 2016 rated the city as one of the safest within the United Kingdom. Throughout the 21st century, the city has seen a sustained period of calm, free from the intense political violence of former years, has benefitted from substantial economic and commercial growth. Belfast remains a centre for industry, as well as for the arts, higher education and law, is the economic engine of Northern Ireland. Belfast is still a major port, with commercial and industrial docks, including the Harland and Wolff shipyard, dominating the Belfast Lough shoreline, it is served by two airports: George Best Belfast City Airport and Belfast International Airport 15 miles west of the city. The Globalization and World Cities Research Network listed Belfast as a Gamma global city in 2018; the name Belfast is derived from the Irish Béal Feirsde, spelt Béal Feirste. The word béal means "mouth" or "rivermouth" while feirsde/feirste is the genitive singular of fearsaid and refers to a sandbar or tidal ford across a river's mouth.
The name would thus translate as " mouth of the sandbar" or " mouth of the ford". This sandbar was formed at the confluence of two rivers at what is now Donegall Quay: the Lagan, which flows into Belfast Lough, its tributary the Farset; this area was the hub. The Irish name Béal Feirste is shared by a townland in County Mayo, whose name has been anglicised as Belfarsad. An alternative interpretation of the name is "mouth of of the sandbar", an allusion to the River Farset, which flows into the Lagan where the sandbar was located; this interpretation was favoured by John O'Donovan. It seems clear, that the river itself was named after the tidal crossing. In Ulster-Scots, the name of the city has been variously translated as Bilfawst, Bilfaust or Baelfawst, although "Belfast" is used. Although the county borough of Belfast was created when it was granted city status by Queen Victoria in 1888, the city continues to be viewed as straddling County Antrim and County Down; the site of Belfast has been occupied since the Bronze Age.
The Giant's Ring, a 5,000-year-old henge, is located near the city, the remains of Iron Age hill forts can still be seen in the surrounding hills. Belfast remained a small settlement of little importance during the Middle Ages. John de Courcy built a castle on what is now Castle Street in the city centre in the 12th century, but this was on a lesser scale and not as strategically important as Carrickfergus Castle to the north, built by de Courcy in 1177; the O'Neill clan had a presence in the area. In the 14th century, Cloinne Aodha Buidhe, descendants of Aodh Buidhe O'Neill, built Grey Castle at Castlereagh, now in the east of the city. Conn O'Neill of the Clannaboy O'Neills owned vast lands in the area and was the last inhabitant of Grey Castle, one remaining link being the Conn's Water river flowing through east Belfast. Belfast became a substantial settlement in the 17th century after being established as a town by Sir Arthur Chichester, it was settled by Protestant English and Scottish migrants at the time of the Plantation of Ulster.
In 1791, the Society of United Irishmen was founded in Belfast, after Henry Joy McCracken and other prominent Presbyterians from the city invited Theobald Wolfe Tone and Thomas Russell to a meeting, after having read Tone's "Argument on Behalf of the Catholics of Ireland". Evidence of this period of Belfast's growth can still be seen in the oldest areas of the city, known as the Entries. Belfast blossomed as a commercial and industrial centre in the 18th and 19th centuries and became Ireland's pre-eminent industrial city. Industries thrived, including linen, rope-making, heavy engineering and shipbuilding, at the end of the 19th century, Belfast overtook Dublin as the largest city in Ireland; the Harland and Wolff shipyards became one of the largest shipbuilders in the world, employing up to 35,000 workers. In 1886 the city suffered intense riots over the issue of home rule. In 1920–22, Belfast became the capital of the new entity of Northern Ireland as the island of Ireland was partitioned.
The accompanying conflict cost up to 500 lives in Belfast, the bloodiest sectarian strife in the city until the Troubles of the late 1960s onwards. Belfas
The Green Park known without the article as Green Park, is one of the Royal Parks of London. It is located in the City of Westminster, central London. First enclosed in 16th century, it was landscaped in 1820 and is notable among central London parks for having no lakes or buildings, only minimal flower planting in the form of naturalised narcissus. Green Park covers just over 40 acres between St. James's Park. Together with Kensington Gardens and the gardens of Buckingham Palace, these parks form an unbroken stretch of open land reaching from Whitehall and Victoria station to Kensington and Notting Hill. In contrast with its neighbouring parks, Green Park has no lakes, no buildings, no playgrounds, few monuments, having only the Canada Memorial by Pierre Granche, the Diana Fountain, the RAF Bomber Command Memorial; the park consists entirely of mature trees rising out of turf. The park is bounded on the south by Constitution Hill, on the east by the pedestrian Queen's Walk, on the north by Piccadilly.
It meets St. James's Park at Queen's Gardens with the Victoria Memorial at its centre, opposite the entrance to Buckingham Palace. To the south is the ceremonial avenue of the Mall, the buildings of St James's Palace and Clarence House overlook the park to the east. Green Park Underground station is a major interchange located on Piccadilly and Jubilee lines near the north end of Queen's Walk. Tyburn stream runs beneath Green Park; the park is said to have been swampy burial ground for lepers from the nearby hospital at St James's. It was first enclosed in 16th century. In 1668, an area of the Poulteney estate known as Sandpit Field was surrendered to Charles II, who made the bulk of the land into a Royal Park as "Upper St James's Park" and enclosed it with a brick wall, he laid out the park's main walks and built an icehouse there to supply him with ice for cooling drinks in summer. The Queen's Walk was laid out for George II's queen Caroline. At the time, the park was on the outskirts of London and remained an isolated area well into the 18th century, when it was known as a haunt of highwaymen and thieves.
Prime Minister Horace Walpole was one of many to be robbed there. During the 18th and 19th centuries, it was a popular place for ballooning attempts and public firework displays; the park was known as a duelling ground. In 1820, John Nash landscaped the park, as an adjunct to St. James's Park. On 10 June 1840, it was the scene of Edward Oxford's assassination attempt on Queen Victoria, on Constitution Hill; the Royal Parks website: The Green Park Virtual journey into Green Park
Jana Gana Mana
Jana Gana Mana is the national anthem of India. It was composed as Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata in Bengali by poet Rabindranath Tagore; the first stanza of the song Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India as the National Anthem on 24 January 1950. A formal rendition of the national anthem takes fifty-two seconds. A shortened version consisting of the first and last lines is staged occasionally, it was first publicly sung on 27 December 1911 at the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress. The poem was first publicly recited on the second day of the annual session of the Indian National Congress in Calcutta on 27 December 1911, again in January 1912 at the annual event of the Adi Brahmo Samaj. However, it was unknown except to the readers of the Adi Brahmo Samaj journal, Tattwabodhini Patrika; the poem was published in February 1905 under the title Bharat Bhagya Bidhata in the Tatwabodhini Patrika, the official publication of the Brahmo Samaj with Tagore the Editor.
In 1912 Song was performed by Sarala Devi Chowdhurani, Tagore’s niece, along with a group of school students, in front of prominent Congress Members like Bishan Narayan Dhar, Indian National Congress President and Ambika Charan Majumdar. Outside of Calcutta, the song was first sung by the bard himself at a session in Besant Theosophical College in Madanapalle, Andhra Pradesh on 28 February 1919 when Tagore visited the college and sung the song; the song enthralled the college students while Margaret Cousins vice-principal of the college, both requested Tagore to create an English translation of the song and set down the musical notation to the national anthem, followed only when the song is sung in the original slow rendition style. Tagore translated the work into English while at the college on 28 February 1919, titled The Morning Song of India – via Wikisource.. The college adopted Tagore's translation of the song as their prayer song, sung till today. Before it was the national anthem of India, "Jana Gana Mana" was heard in the film Hamrahi.
On the occasion of India attaining freedom, the Indian Constituent Assembly assembled for the first time as a sovereign body on 14 August 1947, midnight and the session closed with a unanimous performance of Jana Gana Mana. The members of the Indian Delegation to the General Assembly of the United Nations held at New York in 1947 gave a recording of Jana Gana Mana as the country’s national anthem; the song was played by the house orchestra in front of a gathering consisting of representatives from all over the world. The National Anthem of India is sung on various occasions. Instructions have been issued from time to time about the correct versions of the Anthem, the occasions on which these are to be played or sung, about the need for paying respect to the anthem by observance of proper decorum on such occasions; the substance of these instructions has been embodied in the information sheet issued by the government of India for general information and guidance. The approximate duration of the Full Version of National Anthem of India is 52 seconds and 20 seconds for shorter version.
The poem was composed in a literary register of the Bengali language called sadhu bhasa. The song has been written entirely using nouns that can function as verbs and has commonality with all major languages in India due to Sanskrit being their common source of formal vocabulary. Therefore, the original song is quite understandable, in fact, remains unchanged in several different Indian languages. A short version consisting of the first and last lines of the National Anthem is played on certain occasions, it reads as follows Translation by Tagore, dated 28 February 1919 at the Besant Theosophical College. Refer to The Morning Song of India – via Wikisource. for the translation of the full poem. Primary sources available in the "Gallery" section. In Kerala, students belonging to the Jehovah's Witnesses religious denomination were expelled by school authorities for their refusal to sing the national anthem on religious grounds, although they stood up respectfully when the anthem was sung; the Kerala High Court concluded that there was nothing in it which could offend anyone's religious susceptibilities, upheld their expulsion.
On 11 August 1986, the Supreme Court reversed the High Court and ruled that the High Court had misdirected itself because the question is not whether a particular religious belief or practice appeals to our reason or sentiment but whether the belief is genuinely and conscientiously held as part of the profession or practice of a religion. "Our personal views and reactions are irrelevant." The Supreme Court affirmed the principle that it is not for a secular judge to sit in judgment on the correctness of a religious belief. The Supreme Court observed in its ruling that "There is no provision of law which obliges anyone to sing the National Anthem nor is it disrespectful to the National Anthem if a person who stands up respectfully when the National Anthem is sung does not join the singing. Proper respect is shown to the National Anthem by standing up, it will not be right to say. Standing up respectfully when the National Anthem is sung but not singing oneself does not either prevent the singing of the National Anthem or cause disturbance to an assembly engaged in such singing so as to constitute the offence mentioned in s. 3 of the Prevention of
Tower of London
The Tower of London Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the square mile of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill, it was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite; the castle was used as a prison from 1100 until 1952, although, not its primary purpose. A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence; as a whole, the Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. There were several phases of expansion under Kings Richard I, Henry III, Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries; the general layout established by the late 13th century remains despite activity on the site.
The Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history. It was besieged several times, controlling it has been important to controlling the country; the Tower has served variously as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public record office, the home of the Crown Jewels of England. From the early 14th century until the reign of Charles II, a procession would be led from the Tower to Westminster Abbey on the coronation of a monarch. In the absence of the monarch, the Constable of the Tower is in charge of the castle; this was a trusted position in the medieval period. In the late 15th century, the castle was the prison of the Princes in the Tower. Under the Tudors, the Tower became used less as a royal residence, despite attempts to refortify and repair the castle, its defences lagged behind developments to deal with artillery; the peak period of the castle's use as a prison was the 16th and 17th centuries, when many figures who had fallen into disgrace, such as Elizabeth I before she became queen, Sir Walter Raleigh, Elizabeth Throckmorton, were held within its walls.
This use has led to the phrase "sent to the Tower". Despite its enduring reputation as a place of torture and death, popularised by 16th-century religious propagandists and 19th-century writers, only seven people were executed within the Tower before the World Wars of the 20th century. Executions were more held on the notorious Tower Hill to the north of the castle, with 112 occurring there over a 400-year period. In the latter half of the 19th century, institutions such as the Royal Mint moved out of the castle to other locations, leaving many buildings empty. Anthony Salvin and John Taylor took the opportunity to restore the Tower to what was felt to be its medieval appearance, clearing out many of the vacant post-medieval structures. In the First and Second World Wars, the Tower was again used as a prison and witnessed the executions of 12 men for espionage. After the Second World War, damage caused during the Blitz was repaired, the castle reopened to the public. Today, the Tower of London is one of the country's most popular tourist attractions.
Under the ceremonial charge of the Constable of the Tower, operated by the Resident Governor of the Tower of London and Keeper of the Jewel House, the property is cared for by the charity Historic Royal Palaces and is protected as a World Heritage Site. The Tower was orientated with its strongest and most impressive defences overlooking Saxon London, which archaeologist Alan Vince suggests was deliberate, it stood out to traffic on the River Thames. The castle enclosures; the innermost ward is the earliest phase of the castle. Encircling it to the north and west is the inner ward, built during the reign of Richard I. There is the outer ward which encompasses the castle and was built under Edward I. Although there were several phases of expansion after William the Conqueror founded the Tower of London, the general layout has remained the same since Edward I completed his rebuild in 1285; the castle encloses an area of 12 acres with a further 6 acres around the Tower of London constituting the Tower Liberties – land under the direct influence of the castle and cleared for military reasons.
The precursor of the Liberties was laid out in the 13th century when Henry III ordered that a strip of land adjacent to the castle be kept clear. Despite popular fiction, the Tower of London never had a permanent torture chamber, although the basement of the White Tower housed a rack in periods. Tower Wharf was built on the bank of the Thames under Edward I and was expanded to its current size during the reign of Richard II; the White Tower is a keep, the strongest structure in a medieval castle, contained lodgings suitable for the lord – in this case, the king or his representative. According to military historian Allen Brown, "The great tower was by virtue of its strength and lordly accommodation, the donjon par excellence"; as one of the largest keeps in the Christian world, the White Tower has been described as "the most complete eleventh-century palace in Europe". The White Tower, not including its projecting corner towers, measures 36 by 32 metres at the base, is 27 m high at the southern battlements.
The structure was three storeys high, comprising a basement floor, an entrance level, an upper floor. The entrance, as is usual in Norman keeps, was above ground