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Alan Vince

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Alan Vince

Post by Guest on Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:59 am

The Tower was oriented with its strongest and most impressive defences overlooking Saxon London, which archaeologist Alan Vince suggests was deliberate.[1] It would have visually dominated the surrounding area and stood out to traffic on the River Thames.[2] The castle is made up of three "wards", or enclosures. The innermost contains the White Tower and is the earliest phase of the castle; encircling it to the north, east, and west is the inner enclosure, built during the reign of Richard the Lionheart (1189–1199). Finally, there is the outer ward which encompasses the castle and was built under Edward I. Although there were several phases of expansion after William the Conqueror founded the Tower of London, the general layout has remained the same since Edward I completed his rebuild in 1285. The castle encloses an area of almost 12 acres (4.9 ha); a further 6 acres (2.4 ha) around the Tower of London constitutes the Tower Liberties – land under the direct influence of the castle and cleared for military reasons.[3] The precursor of the Liberties was laid out in the 13th century when Henry III ordered that a strip of land adjacent to the castle be kept clear.[4] Despite popular fiction, the Tower of London never had a permanent torture chamber, although the basement of the White Tower housed a rack in later periods.[5] Tower Wharf was built on the bank of the Thames under Edward I; it was expanded to its current size during the reign of Richard II (1377–1399).[6]

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