The Tower of London
by Waverly W., 8 years old, Manhattan (writing from London)
The Mom here! When I started planning this trip to London, the first thing on my “must-do” list with Waverly was – of course – The Tower of London. It has everything! Torture, terror, ravens, history, mystery, moats, Yeoman Warders, enemy attacks…oh, yeah, and The Crown Jewels. See what I mean? Everything. So there was no way we were visiting London and not doing The Tower of London. I’ll let Wave tell you how it went…
Waverly here! When my mom started telling me about The Tower of London, I thought it would be cool to see the jewels but I really didn’t know what to expect. Then I did a little research and found out from my Famous Buildings book that it’s haunted with ghosts of people who got beheaded – that was it, I could NOT wait to go explore it.
The day came and my mom woke me up early, and I mean early, because she said there would be a long line to see The Crown Jewels. I didn’t want to wake up but I was so excited to finally go to The Tower of London that I didn’t ask for five more minutes five hundred times (or is it five hundred minutes five times?). I made sure to take my phone because I downloaded the app, “Tower Escape” so I could play a cool game while I was there. You should definitely get the app! It brings you back in time to help four prisoners (even a Polar Bear!) escape from The Tower of London. Even though I didn’t have wifi, I was able to do all the steps and save that Polar Bear!
When we got there, I saw a really cool old castle with towers and I was really excited to get in there. It looked like it was from a really, really long time ago and my mom told me that it was. I felt like I was living in a different time when I went in. There were men dressed up in fancy outfits walking around and I found out they were called Yeoman Warders. They knew so much about the Tower of London and helped me free that polar bear without even knowing it!
First, we saw The Ravens – legend has it that if the ravens ever leave, the tower and Britain will fall!
The next thing we had to do, of course, was to see those Crown Jewels! Yep, there was a line all right…but it was a good thing I had the app with me because it made waiting fun. Truthfully, it would have been ok to wait without it because there were all these cool things to look at and also there was a pretend war going on around me and everyone was acting like it was medieval times, it was really fun and funny. Also, the line moved fast.
The wait was worth it! The jewels and all the other things in The Jewel House were so sparkly and beautiful – it made me wish I was a Queen – well, not one of Henry VIII’s wives – hmm, maybe it’s better to be a regular person! There were lots of cool pictures and videos leading up to the jewels, and also music. So it was really never boring! You can’t take pictures inside but here is what I can show you until you go see for yourself:
After that, we checked out “Torture at the Tower” in the bottom of the Wakefield Tower. On the way there, I saw an ice cream stand and asked my mom to buy me one, since there was another (shorter) line for that. My mom tried to make me wait until later but I won! And then when she had a little taste of mine, she had to have one herself – the ice cream was that amazing. I called it “Happiness in a cone.” Who was right this time, mom? (Note from The Mom – it really was that amazing, way better than I expected. I’m still thinking about it!)
When we got downstairs to see the old torture instruments, I felt really bad for all the people who had to go through all the bad things from these machines and it made me realize that we are really lucky that we don’t live in times like that anymore. Hmm, after seeing The Rack, maybe I won’t call school or homework “torture” anymore:
After that we went to The Bloody Tower, where two Little Princes were possibly murdered by their own uncle! When we went in here, I swear I felt a chill and a hand on my shoulder that was not my mom’s! It was kind of creepy…in a good way…
People were held prisoner here in this tower, and we saw some of the things they wrote on the walls. When I saw that it made me think about all the real people who lost their lives there and made me think about how seeing things like this makes me understand and be interested in history way more than just reading or hearing about it. I will definitely go back to The Tower of London to see more the next time I am here – like my mom says, you can’t go to London and not do The Tower of London! It’s got everything…plus some seriously amazing ice cream! I sure hope those ravens never leave…