A modern Tower

A modern Tower

The Tower of London in the 20th and 21st centuries


The last execution

Two World Wars saw the Tower back in use as a prison and a place of execution.

Between 1914 and 1916 several spies were held and subsequently executed there, 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.

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.

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