Tower of London
White Tower (1078 AD)
After William conquered England in 1066 AD, he needed a castle to live in when he was in London. He needed a castle that would protect London from invaders, but also a castle that would protect him, William, from angry English people who didn't like being conquered.
William built the White Tower in a Romanesque style, with rounded arches. Long narrow buttresses helped to support the heavy stone walls. Like the walls of Cairo just a little later, William's walls have crenellations on the top - little walls that men could hide behind while they were shooting arrows at their attackers. (Most of the windows you see were added later).
Inside, the White Tower originally was only two stories high. You walked up and down on spiral staircases.
Built into the wall, William had several latrine toilets - just a board with a hole in it, and a long chute down to the ground. William also had a well built into his castle, so he could get water without going outside if the castle was attacked.
Chapel inside the White Tower
A beefeater tells about the Tower of London
Learn by doing: a project
More about Castles
The castle of William the Conqueror
The Tower of London
More about Medieval Architecture
More about the Middle Ages
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