The Moat At The Tower Of London And How It Is Used Today


Using the Moat at the Tower to grow vegetables during the Second World War
The Moat During The Second World War

This old photo shows vegetables and fruit being grown in the Moat at The Tower of London, allotments style, with Tower Bridge in the background. It reminds us how seriously the Nation responded to the need for everyone to help the war effort, while the enemy was trying to starve us by sinking ships bringing food to the UK. Here, at this medieval Castle at the centre of London history, Beefeaters and other staff at the Tower were also busy with this vital work.

In my book, Poppies, Pomp And People, I considered the way in which the Tower is used for promotions, corpotate events and other use today. The rich tradition of ‘sharing’ the Moat continues and I reproduce a piece from the book below:

‘I have listened to many different points of view about the best ways to utilise the Tower’s historical moat. Traditionalists argue that it should remain unspoiled, local residents bemoan its ugliness following use by marquees, and others champion the facility for marketing and promoting ‘today’s Tower.’If you want to purchase a signed copy of Poppies, Pomp And People, just use this link.

Cruise Ships In The Pool Of London

Cruise Ship Silver Cloud Visiting Central London.
Cruise Ship Silver Cloud Visiting Central London.

I always enjoy seeing these cruise ships navigating the Thames into central London. It must be very exciting for passengers and crew to pass under the world famous Tower Bridge, opening specially, and then berthing next to the famous battleship HMS Belfast. They will be overlooked by London’s iconic Shard building and have easy sight of St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London. These ships bring in more than five hundred tourists, all keen to explore London and spend lots of money in our shops, cafes and theatres.

What I don’t understand is why we only have these ships here occasionally, rather than all the time through the Tourist season. Does anyone know why? We have this major, marvellous facility, only being minimally used and under utilised.

Any comments would be appreciated, also please get in touch if you have visited on one of the cruise ships- it would be great to share your experiences and pictures.

To buy my books about nearby St Katharine’s or about life at the Tower of London, please click here.

Cruise Ship Hamburg, moored in the Thames in central london
The Hamburg, moored in the Pool of London




Charles Dickens And The Tower Of London

Raven Tower of London


In 2012 the third raven to be named after Charles Dickens’ own pet arrived at the Tower of London.  Dickens featured Grip in Barnaby Rudge.

The original Grip had a passion for paint, which sadly led to his death because he would tear it off furniture and eat it. Dickens had Grip stuffed and kept him nearby in his office and bought a replacement which was not so popular with his numerous children because they bit their ankles. Following the death of the great author, Grip was sold at auction.

Dickens also had a passion for geraniums and would, I guess, be delighted with the displays of them today at the Tower.