First and second world wars
Between 1914 and 1916 several spies were held and subsequently executed at the Tower of London, including Franz Buschmann.
The last execution at the Tower of the German Josef Jakobs took place in 1941, the same year that Hitler’s Deputy Führer, Rudolf Hess, was held there briefly, one of the last state prisoners at the Tower.
During the Second World War bomb damage was considerable, and a number of buildings were destroyed, including the mid-19th-century North Bastion, which was hit directly in October 1940.
The moat was used for allotments and vegetable growing. The Crown Jewels were removed to a place of safety.
21st century Tower
Today the Tower of London is one of the world’s major tourist attractions and a World Heritage Site, attracting over two million visitors a year from all over the world.
A team of building conservators maintains the fabric of the buildings. Between 2008 and 2011 they carried out repairs on the White Tower. They cleaned the outside and removed pollution that had been damaging the building.
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