The Tower of London Dungeon is a favorite for most teenagers who visit London because it has everything they want in a thrilling and fun experience.
It’s difficult to find London attractions that interest many teens for more than an hour or two. Stacking your travel plan with thrill-seeking activities can ensure they have tons of fun, but you don’t want to skip the educational attractions completely.
That’s where the Tower of London dungeon comes into the picture. It’s an educational attraction that combines gory storytelling with historical facts. That’s just the right combination to keep some kids interested, especially when you start talking about the dungeons.
What’s in the Tower of London dungeon, and why will your teen care? Let’s dig into the answers.
The Tower of London has 21 towers, and prisoners were once kept in many of them. Many of those prisoners were tortured and some were decapitated, lined up in front of firing squads, or otherwise executed in or near the Tower of London. Many people believe that much of that torture took place in the dungeons, but some of the towers were just as uncomfortable and deadly for some prisoners.
Historically, any underground space like a basement was often referred to as a dungeon. Not all of those spaces were used for torture, and not all spaces above ground like high towers were free of torture.
When it comes to the Tower of London, there are multiple dungeon-like spaces that may grab the attention of teens—including those who aren’t otherwise into history.
When you hear about the Tower of London dungeon, most people are talking about the basement of the White Tower. It’s believed that the torture of many famous prisoners happened in that space, though no one is completely certain.
Teenagers may also take an interest in the top floor of the White Tower, which contains an ax and executioner’s block that were used to carry out at least one execution in the past. They can also look at one replica of a torture device known as “the scavenger’s daughter.” It was used to twist and contort bodies into wildly torturous positions.
The tower also contains a collection of authentic armor, which many teens find fascinating as well.
The Salt Tower does have a dungeon plus two floors of exhibits and a lot of graffiti left behind by prisoners many years ago. It is believed to have once held salt—a very expensive commodity in Medieval times—which explains the name. Other names for this small tower have related to the most famous prisoners once held in the tower.
The graffiti is what grabs and keeps the attention of many teenagers. What do prisoners etch into the walls when they have nothing but time and live with unimaginable pain and agony? You’ll find out when you visit the Salt Tower.
In the 1480s, Edward V and his younger brother, Richard, stayed in this tower for a period of time. Edward V was around 12 years old at the time. The brothers are believed to have simply vanished, and one of the biggest mysteries of the Tower of London is what happened to them. Most believe they were murdered, but we will never know by who and why.
The tower is called the Bloody Tower because it’s the assumed place of death for the brothers. The tower is also known for housing Sir Walter Raleigh, who was given more humane treatment and even a medicinal garden.
Teens don’t get to see Little Ease when visiting the Tower of London, but it’s a story that might keep them inspecting the walls closely as they explore the towers. No one knows exactly where it was within the Tower of London, but it was believed to be somewhere in the White Tower.
What was Little Ease? It was a tiny space carved into a wall that required one captive soul to crouch for days if not weeks at a time. The space did not provide enough room to stand up fully, sit down, or lie down, so crouching was the only option. Prisoners were often tortured and then brought back to Little Ease until they gave up information or were eventually executed.
Can your teen spot the now closed Little Ease in the walls of the White Tower? It’s just another mystery that makes the Tower of London dungeon a great attraction for teens as well as adults.
In the Lower Wakefield Tower, visitors get to look at replicas of torture devices that were once used in the Tower of London. That includes “the rack,” which stretched the limbs in opposite directions, and the second replica of “the scavenger’s daughter,” which contorted the body and compressed it to cause excruciating pain.
To get the most out of your visit to the Tower of London, encourage your teen to research the exhibits in advance. Knowing a little about the historical significance of the tower may get them excited to see the dungeons and the torturous towers.