Saturday, 10 December 2016

A writer in the Tower of London.

Researching in London.

Last week your intrepid writer ventured beyond the Cornish border, to a city bursting with culture and history.
In the fourth of 'The Camelot Inheritance' series some of the action takes place beyond Cornwall's borders; specifically in London at the British Museum, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.
It was a fascinating experience. I've been to London a few times but, maybe because it's approaching Christmas, it seemed more magical than before.

As I mentioned, Tower Bridge, which spans the river Thames is going to be one of the settings in the book.

There is a walkway above the road on the bridge, which is most definitely worth a visit, whether or not you're going to write about it. The views are tremendous, taking in St Paul's Cathedral in the distance, the Shard and of course, the Tower of London. A glass insert in the walkway enables you to look down on the road many meters below. One of the lovely guides coaxed me onto it but I didn't hang around for long!
During the time we were in London, the bridge was
closed to traffic. This view would usually be far more busy.

The views up and down the river are quite stunning, as is the history behind the bridge's building. If you wish to time a visit to see the bridge lift (to enable particularly tall ships sail beneath it), click here to find out more from the Tower Bridge site.
Spot the Gherkin and the Tower of London. 
Ancient and modern architecture sit side by side.
The Tower of London was built circa 1067 - the Gherkin is
considerably newer.
We managed to fit in a visit to the Tower of London on the same day, but if you're going to see these sites, I would recommend that you allow yourself longer.
The Tower of London is bursting with history and with stories, and of course there are the Beefeaters . . . and the ravens.

A Beefeater, one  of the Tower of London's guards,
chatting to a tourist.
The wall around the Tower of London.

Ravens are extremely intelligent birds -
and are part of the same family as crows. 
There is so much I could write about this visit.
The Beefeaters should really be called the Yeoman of the Guard, they are part of the Royal Bodyguard.
Here's a piece from the Tower of London's site: 'The Beefeaters nickname probably comes from their position in the Royal Bodyguard, which allowed them to eat as much beef as they wanted from the king's table.'

Then of course there are the Crown Jewels, here's another piece from the site. (The photograph is taken from the Tower of London's site too. Obviously, no one is allowed to take photos in this area!) 'The solid gold St. Edward’s crown (1661) is the heaviest crown in the collection. One of the smallest and lightest is Queen Victoria’s Small Diamond Crown (1870), which she wore with her widow’s veil, is tiny at only 9.4cm high.

The sapphire of the Imperial State Crown 

Crowns are made with the most expensive materials available at the time.  The Crown of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, made for her coronation in 1937, is the only crown in the collection made of platinum.'

And the ravens . . . 

These birds are huge - and very clever.

There's a legend which says, 'that the kingdom and the Tower will fall if the six resident ravens ever leave the fortress: 'According to the stories, it was Charles II who first insisted that the ravens of the Tower should be protected.' So now there are seven ravens (so that there's one 'spare') kept at the Tower at all times.
If you want to find out more about these birds, click here to be taken to the Tower of London's site and a video about the birds.
There is so much more to write about our London visit, I haven't touched on the British Museum yet. I think that will have to wait until the next post. But in the meantime I'll finish with a detail taken from the Christmas window in Liberty's department store. The theme this year is 'The Nutcracker Suite'.
Christmas is in a couple of weeks time. I'm blown away by the number of people buying 'The Camelot Inheritance' books for presents. If you happen to be one of the people who bought a book, thank you! And if you're one of those who receives a book, I really hope you enjoy it. Write to me here, or on Facebook (here's the link to my page: Rosie - Facebook), and leave a comment. I love hearing from my readers and will always reply :).
Happy Christmas everyone.

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