Tower of London Trip – 22 November 2018 Year 7 & Year 8

How did John Gerard escape from the Salt Tower using just a feather and an orange? Is there really a talking giant’s skull underneath the tower’s foundations? What did Anne Boleyn say to her decapitator? Which wild and exotic animals were kept in the Tower for 600 years? These were just a few questions the Year 7 and 8 students were asked on their trip to the Tower of London on Wednesday. We were treated to an extraordinary tour of different cells, etched with stone carvings where previous prisoners (including Anne Boleyn and Rudolph Hess) had been held captive. They even prepared a room for Hitler. The Kray twins were the last people to be held here for failing to report for national service in 1953. Our tour guide (dressed in Elizabethan costume) was impressed by the students’ ability to translate the Latin phrases and get into the ‘spirit’ of the occasion by acting out the roles of historical figures. Saurin showed great resilience in not revealing the secrets of John Gerard to her fictional torturer.

The students enjoyed exploring the mint collection where ancient coins were on display and dark tales of those who tried to forge them! The Fusilier museum catalogued past and present wars with original war diaries and illustrations and the hardier students enjoyed seeing if they could lift a soldier’s rucksack.

The Crown jewels dazzled; although a few Year 7 students were more impressed with a gigantic golden trough which held 144 bottles of wine. They were also able to use their detective skills to touch and determine unusual objects from the past and present their findings.

A few were dismayed that we did not have time to investigate the torture chamber thoroughly; a point of note for the next trip!

In answer to the first question … Gerard wrote a secret ‘invisible’ letter (using orange juice) to a friend who, late one night, arranged for a boat to be transported along the Thames and Gerard escaped out of his window. For the rest; I would highly recommend a visit to the Tower!