Apologies for the delay in posting this article, Tim was travelling back home after the tour, and some of the guests (un-named!) had a very late night on the last night, so he didn’t get a chance to upload the pictures. Over to Tim…
Our last day was spent at the Tower of London. We travelled up to London with our Blue Badge guide, John, on the coach. As normal, we started our tour at the Tower Hill execution site, where people such as George Boleyn, Thomas Wyatt the Younger and Thomas Cromwell were executed.
Then we went down past the main public entrance, stopping off at the gate where Anne Boleyn entered the Tower both on her coronation and before her execution. Thankfully this time there were less rubbish bags stored at this important site. After entering the Tower, we spent the morning looking at places outside the main White Tower, such as walking to a great spot on the wall where you can clearly see where the Great Hall, Queen’s Lodgings (the original ones, not the present Queen’s House) were. We spent a moment discussing the route that Anne took on her final walk to the scaffold, before walking to the execution spot ourselves.
We then went into the church of St. Peter ad Vincula (St. Peter in Chains), where we got to spend a little time looking at the tile which marks the resting place of Anne Boleyn.
This time we felt un-hurried by the Yeoman warders in the church. This has led me to creating an award “The AB Award for the Best Yeoman Warder”. This time I have awarded it to Steve, who was originally a Royal Marine. Steve knew a lot about history, and apart from the old story about Catherine Howard saying “I die a queen, but I would rather have died the wife of Culpeper”, he did a great job at being respectful about such a wonderful church. Steve was the same Yeoman Warder who took our group round on the private tower tour and Ceremony of the Keys that we had earlier in the year. Congratulations Steve.
Runner’s up for this award goes to “Billy Beefeater” (https://twitter.com/billybeefeater), who was very pleasant. Things seem to be looking up for the Yeoman Warders!
Our evening meal was lovely as always, and then we had Bess Chilver and her husband Edmund speak to us about Tudor Clothing. I’m always fascinated how long it takes to dress a woman in Tudor Clothes, and how quick and easy the men’s clothing is! Nothing changes… The evening was wonderful, and a big thanks must go to Laurie, one of the guests, who was willing to also be dressed in a Tudor gown. She said that it was hard to breathe in the clothing for a while, but that after she learned to change her breathing pattern, it felt perfectly comfortable. It was a great transformation.
All too soon, the tour was over. There was enough time for people to have a last look around Hever in the morning, and then the coach came to whisk people off back to London.
Thanks to everyone who came on the tour, and I look forward to meeting you all again sometime.
Photos of the day can be found here: