The third and final portion of our London Walking Tour took us from the Tower Hill tube stop past a remnant of the London Wall, The London Tower, Tower Bridge, London Bridge, and All Hallows By The Tower, arguably the oldest church in London.
Stop 13: London Wall
This is one of the most impressive surviving sections of London’s former city wall. The lower part was built by the Romans around 200AD. It’s purpose may have been as much to control the passage of goods and people as for defense. During the medieval period, the wall was repaired and heightened. From the 17th century it fell into disuse and parts were demolished. Several sections, including this one, were preserved by being incorporated into later buildings.
Statue believed to be of the Roman emperor Trajan, AD 98-117.
Stop 14: The Tower of London
The Tower of London was a castle, prison, and site of executions from the early 1000’s through the second world war.
The nearly 1000 year old structure is interestingly positioned on the banks of the River Thames, surrounded by modern architecture and bustling city.
A metal archer leans out from a turret.
We unfortunately ran out of time to visit the interior of the castle. Next time!
Stop 15: Tower Bridge
The Tower Bridge, completed in 1894, is a London icon.
Stop 16: London Bridge
London Bridge is… just a bridge. And it appears to be quite sturdy. (It’s shown in the background of this photo). Still, we felt a need to see the thing we all sang about as children.
Stop 17: All Hallows At the Tower
All Hallows at the Tower is arguably the oldest church in London. Part of the structure dates back to the time of the Saxons in 675 AD, and the crypt contains a Roman tessellated floor dating from the 2nd century. It was extensively damaged during the blitz in WWII and later rebuilt.
The crypt and chapel below is rather spooky.
The crypt below houses the remains of people who were involved in the church, including Tubby Clayton and Sir Thomas Moore. The altar is interesting from a Knights of the Templar holdout in Palestine, dating back to the times of the crusades. It was gifted to the church in 1945 by Miss Frances E. Newton, a “formidable, pipe-smoking missionary working in Palestine supporting Arab causes since 1889”.
This one threw us for a loop. This was once the crow’s nest used by Shackleton on his last Antarctic expedition in the good ship “Quest”. It was set out during church fundraisers to be filled with donations. It’s presence in the church doesn’t make much sense and how it got there is apparently a bit of a mystery.