Sample Essay – London Travel

Words 1,320

Short answer questions.  Identify and state the full historical or cultural significance of all of the following people or Institutions.  Be sure to include details from the visits or guided tours which we did at the respective locations.  (12 points each – 48 points total)

1)         The Tower of London as a fortress, residence and prison.  What role has it played in British history and what is there now.

2)         St. Paul’s Cathedral and the rebuilding following the great fire of 1666; be sure to refer to Sir Christopher Wren and to reference the other churches he designed.

3)         The significance of the collections of the British Museum and how they originated.  Be sure to make specific reference to at least two prominent historical or cultural items displayed in the museum.

4)         The Parliament Building, The House of Lords and The House of Commons and the historical role of both in the British Constitutional Monarchy

The Tower of London

The Tower of London Fortress was built by William the conqueror in 1078.  William invaded England in order to press his claim for the crown of England and hence was the first persons to introduce Norman-French culture in England through his army. In order to protect himself and his army from the attacks in the city of London, Guldulf, the Bishop of Rochester, was made responsible for architecting the tower.   Apart from William the conqueror, Richard the Lionheart also used the tower as a fortress and built moats around it which still exist today. The tower has served the purpose of prison and residence as well. Henry III was the first king to transform the Tower into a royal residence. The tower was continued to be used as residential place until Oliver Cromwell was crowned.   The Tower has acted as a prison for a number of royal prisoners as well, which include David II and John II, which were both kings of Scotland, Domhnáill Ballaugh Ó Catháin who was the last chieftain of Clan Ó Catháin, one of the famous clan of Ulster, England, and the Duke of Orleans. Famous English heads who were imprisoned in the Tower include Henry VI, Edward V, Anne Boleyn the Queen of England and Queen Elizabeth I.  The Tower also had torture chambers where, a number of prisoners include Anne Askew, the only women, were tortured. The Tower also witnessed a number of low profile and high profile execution including Sir Thomas More and William Hastings.

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