When a tourist enters the Tower of London, they walk through the Middle tower and the Byward Tower. But in the past certain people (such as Anne Boleyn and Sir Thomas More) entered the Tower of London through a not-so-nice entrance: the Traitor’s Gate.
As you’ve probably realized, this was where the enemies of the Tudors passed through on their way to the Tower (no doubt heading towards their own torture or execution). The barge they were on would pass under the London Bridge, giving them a glimpse of the heads of the recently executed, which were displayed on pikes.
In the beginning the passage was just another entrance for the royal family to enter the Tower, but in the early 17th century the Tudors put it to a much different use.
So it shouldn’t be a big shock that they have torture instruments on display at the Tower.
At the bottom of the Wakefield Tower you can find information about Torture at the Tower. Read about items such as the dreaded rack – view the horrific Scavenger’s Daughter:
Thankfully the items are behind glass, so you don’t have to worry about being selected as a volunteer for a “how does this work?” show.
And while we’re on the subject of executions and torture let’s talk about ghosts! The Tower is home to a lot of different ghosts – Anne Boleyn, who walks with her head under her arm; the Princes, who disappeared from the Tower under mysterious circumstances (thought to be murdered by their Uncle – seriously, read up on this: it’s an interesting mystery); a ghost bear; and a mysterious skeletal form (just to name a few).
Chances are that you won’t see a ghost during your visit – most of the interactions happened at night. I know that I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary during my visit, which is always a bit of a let-down when you’re in a haunted area. Of course, if I had to haunt a tourist site I’d probably want to lay low until the crowds dispersed, too.