In the early 1080s, William the Conqueror began to build the Tower of London. Successive monarchs added to the fortress over the following centuries. Today the Tower of London is one of the world’s major tourist attractions and a World Heritage Site.

Crowds entering the Tower of London through the Middle Tower.

Crowds entering the Tower of London through the Middle Tower.

A Yeoman Warder of Her Majesty’s Royal Palace & Fortress the Tower of London, & Member of the Sovereign's Body Guard of the Yeoman Guard Extraordinary (Beefeater) welcomes us to a tour.

A Yeoman Warder of Her Majesty’s Royal Palace & Fortress the Tower of London, & Member of the Sovereign's Body Guard of the Yeoman Guard Extraordinary (Beefeater) welcomes us to a tour.

Counterweight trebuchet in the dry moat.

Counterweight trebuchet in the dry moat.

Jim in hat on right. Tour group waiting just inside the Middle Tower to go into the Tower of London.

Jim in hat on right.  Tour group waiting just inside the Middle Tower to go into the Tower of London.

Byward Tower entrance to the Tower of London on the Tower side of the moat.

Byward Tower entrance to the Tower of London on the Tower side of the moat.

Another view of the Byward Tower entrance to the Tower of London.

Another view of the Byward Tower entrance to the Tower of London.

Yeoman Warder guide, he obviously enjoys his work - and was great!

Yeoman Warder guide, he obviously enjoys his work - and was great!

Timber frame structure just inside the Byward Tower entrance to the Tower of London.

Timber frame structure just inside the Byward Tower entrance to the Tower of London.

Mint Street. The Royal Mint made the nation's coins here from at least 1300 to 1812. Sir Isaac Newton was a Warden of the Mint.

Mint Street.  The Royal Mint made the nation's coins here from at least 1300 to 1812. Sir Isaac Newton was a Warden of the Mint.

Mint Street historical marker. It is now home to Yeoman Warders and their families.

Mint Street historical marker. It is now home to Yeoman Warders and their families.

Jim on right in hat and backpack walking down Water Lane toward the Traitor's Gate in the Tower of London.

Jim on right in hat and backpack walking down Water Lane toward the Traitor's Gate in the Tower of London.

Water Lane with Wakefield Tower on the left and the Traitors' Gate on the right.

Water Lane with Wakefield Tower on the left and the Traitors' Gate on the right.

Traitor's Gate. Many famous prisoners arrived at the Tower this way, including Elizabeth I before she became Queen, when she was imprisoned by her sister Mary.

Traitor's Gate.  Many famous prisoners arrived at the Tower this way, including Elizabeth I before she became Queen, when she was imprisoned by her sister Mary.

Bloody Tower. Prisoners held here include Sir Walter Raleigh. Known as the Bloody Tower since mid-16th century as it was believed to be the place where the Princes in the Tower were murdered.

Bloody Tower. Prisoners held here include Sir Walter Raleigh.  Known as the Bloody Tower since mid-16th century as it was believed to be the place where the Princes in the Tower were murdered.

Looking Southwest across Tower Green. These are also residences for Yeoman Warders and their families.

Looking Southwest across Tower Green.  These are also residences for Yeoman Warders and their families.

Guard walking post at the SW corner of the Tower Green. Far right door is entrance to the Queen's House, built in the reign of Henry VIII, and currently the home of the Resident Governor of the Tower.

Guard walking post at the SW corner of the Tower Green. Far right door is entrance to the Queen's House, built in the reign of Henry VIII, and currently the home of the Resident Governor of the Tower.

A Tower of London raven on Tower Green. At least six ravens are kept at the Tower at all times as there is a belief that if they are absent, the kingdom will fall.

A Tower of London raven on Tower Green.  At least six ravens are kept at the Tower at all times as there is a belief that if they are absent, the kingdom will fall.

NW across Tower Green. The Scaffold Site (where "private" executions, such as that of Queen Anne Boleyn, were held) marked by green monument on left & Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula on right.

NW across Tower Green. The Scaffold Site (where "private" executions, such as that of Queen Anne Boleyn, were held) marked by green monument on left & Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula on right.

Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula, Scaffold Site in foreground. A glass pillow rests on two polished disks, one of glass and one of granite with words of remembrance for those executed there.

Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula, Scaffold Site in foreground. A glass pillow rests on two polished disks, one of glass and one of granite with words of remembrance for those executed there.

Yeoman Warders next to the Chapel. The present form of the Chapel dates from 1519-1520 and is a rare example of early Tudor church building. All of those executed on Tower Green were buried here.

Yeoman Warders next to the Chapel. The present form of the Chapel dates from 1519-1520 and is a rare example of early Tudor church building. All of those executed on Tower Green were buried here.