Inside the Armory Building is a very large and impressive museum of weapons and armor used by the British over the past thousand years.
The collection of weapons and armor would make all my SCA friends drool quite a bit....I did some drooling too!
What was the most cool is the fact that almost every piece was authentic, and not a reproduction.
From old swords, to early muskets, they had it all.
And in large quantity....
Armor for people and horses....
On many levels.....up and down turret stairs and down into dungeons....
With original drawings of famous battles and events....
It seemed like they had at least 100 cannons in there too...
Thousands of swords....
Hundreds of flintlock pistols....
Hundreds of flitlock rifles....
With impressive decorative styles of rifles, guns, knifes and swords...
In decorative ways even I have not thought of....again, my friend Robert would be dehydrated from all the drooling.....
Authentic era pistols and spears around a Tiger or Lions emblem. Need a glass of water Robert?
Here are some very nice "hello" sticks....:)
An actual executioners block and axe from the Tower.
Huge rooms filled with equestian armor and banners.
Large collections of early artillery and castle defense technology.
Here is one of the many portcullis winches. It used to take 50 men to lift the 5 ton gate...but with the naval technology of the blocks, 5 could do it.
Looking down onto the tower area that Sir Walter Raleigh was imprisoned for so many year sin.
One of the many gates and turrets. And a giftshop to the left of course....To the right in this picture is the "Traitors Gate" where political prisoners were brought...usually they were executed a short time later.
This portion of the castle faced out onto the River Thames at one time. It is all land locked back a hundred feet now, with a wide walkway plaza and cafe's in front of it now. This is between it and the River Thames. This area also has the "Water Gate", and is where high security prisoners were brought, in an attempt to reduce rescue attempts. "WaterGate" in the US means something very different...heh....the BeefEater giving our tour made a cool joke or two about this.....
Right next to the castle is the beautiful "Tower Bridge". Not to be confused with "London Bridge", which is a few miles away. The Tower Bridge was completed in 1894, and is 880 feet long, and has a drawbridge system to allow boats to pass underneath.
By the end of the 19th century, the city of London had outgrown itself. Thousands of cars and pedestrians relied on a single bridge -- the London Bridge -- to travel in and out of the capital city each day. The traffic jams were unbearable. So it was with great anticipation that Londoners awaited the completion of a new bridge across the Thames, the Tower Bridge.
Here is a shot looking from the Tower Bridge back to the Tower Castle. Also behind it is a very cool "Swiss Tower", a giant glass egg shapped building...it's huge, at least 40 stories high...
The new bridge would have two towers that would rise 200 feet above the Thames. A pair of glass-covered walkways would stretch between the two towers for pedestrians. Steam engines would raise and lower the bascules, or movable roadways, in less than two minutes to allow boats to pass. Londoners were thrilled.
Once the bridge was completed in 1894, however, the public was appalled with the results. Jones' original design was simple and had a medieval style. But Jones died in 1887, and Barry added his own artistic touch. When the Tower Bridge opened to traffic in 1894, the journal The Builder cursed the bridge, calling it "the most monstrous and preposterous architectural sham that we have ever known." But public opinion mellowed over time, and today, the Tower Bridge is one of London's best loved landmarks.