Traitor’s Gate, Tower of London

Traitor's Gate, St. Thomas's Tower, the Tower of London

Scattered across the 18 acre site which forms the Tower of London, there are many notable buildings and features. One of the most famous, or should I say infamous, is the Traitor’s Gate. This is located at the base of St. Thomas’s Tower – one of the constituent parts of the world famous fortress – and is a watergate, giving direct access to the murky waters of the River Thames. St. Thomas’s Tower was built between 1275-1279 at the behest of King Edward I; he was the monarch responsible for commissioning the large stone arch and double gates which form Traitor’s Gate.

The gate was used to convey State prisoners of high importance directly to the Tower from the River Thames in the highest security, preventing any attempts at rescue – or, indeed, assassination, in order to prevent them revealling more details of their crimes under torture in the dungeons of the Tower.

Sir Roger Casement was imprisoned here for a time during the First World War, prior to his execution (he had been convicted of spying for Germany, on rather tenuous legal grounds).

Strangely, Traitor’s Gate has also featured in at least one notable cartoon; the famous British cartoonist, Carl Giles, depicted his employer, the ‘press baron’ Lord Beaverbrook, being sent through Traitor’s Gate for some slight against the Government of the day.

2 comments on “Traitor’s Gate, Tower of London”

  1. what does it do? you mean that simple gate has an important to the tower of London history!


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