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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
23rd July 1989 Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe was born in West London.
23rd July 1986 The Prince Andrew, Duke of York, second son of Queen Elizabeth II , was married to Sarah Ferguson in Westminster Abbey.
23rd July 1975 Alan Ayckbourn's Absent Friends, premieres in London
23rd July 1966 England beat Argentina 1-0 at Wembley Stadium to reach the World Cup Semi-Finals.
23rd July 1947 Born today: David Essex, London, rock vocalist/actor (That'll be the Day)
23rd July 1946 Born today: Andy MacKay, London, rock sax/oboe (Roxy Music-Dance Away)
23rd July 1940 Blitz all-night air raid by German bombers on London begins
23rd July 1900 Pan-African Congress meets in London
23rd July 1863 Alexandra Park opens in North London
The Traitor's Gate
This is the Thames level gate where prisoners would arrive.
Location: Tower of London, London
Description: This is the Rivers Thames tide hidden entrance that many Tudor prisoners entered the Tower of London through by boat.
The gate was built by Edward I, to provide a water gate entrance to the Tower, part of St. Thomas's Tower, which was designed to provide additional accommodation for the royal family.
In the pool behind Traitors' Gate was an engine that was used for raising water to a cistern on the roof of the White Tower. The engine worked originally by the force of the tide or by horsepower and eventually by steam. In 1724-6 it was adapted to drive machinery for boring gun barrels. It was removed in the 1860s.
The name Traitors' Gate has been used since the early seventeenth century (prior to which it was called simply the Water Gate), prisoners were brought by barge along the Thames, passing under London Bridge, where the heads of recently executed prisoners were displayed on pikes.
Anne Boleyn, Sir Thomas More, Queen Catherine Howard, and Anne Boleyn's daughter, Elizabeth I, all entered the Tower by Traitors' Gate.
According to legend when Princess Elizabeth arrived on Palm Sunday 1554 she refused at first to land at the gate, angrily proclaiming that she was no traitor. A sharp shower of rain however, caused her to change her mind. Later when as Queen she visited the Tower she insisted on passing through Traitors Gate. What was good enough for Elizabeth the Princess is good enough for Elizabeth the Queen, she is supposed to have told the Constable.