Review: ‘Inside the Tower of London’ Reveals the Tourist Attraction’s Rich History

inside the tower of london
Review
SMITHSONIAN

“The Tower of London: For almost a thousand years, it’s been a castle, a famous prison, and a royal palace.” Each installment of the eight-part docuseries, Inside the Tower of London, begins the same way.

The show’s charm is that you never know which direction it’ll head next as it reveals the popular tourist attraction’s rich history, traditions, and inner workings.

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Also, check out an exclusive sneak peek clip from PBS as Worsley reveals secrets from Hampton Court.

The topics rotate so that episodes might jump from daring escapes (a stuntman reenacts a Jesuit priest rappelling to freedom) to a check-in with the Ravenmaster: Legend has it, if the ravens ever leave the grounds, the monarchy will crumble.

This is the sort of educational British TV fare that never bores, and it feels cozy and comforting even when the focus turns to tales of torture and beheadings. Credit the jolly disposition of the retired military men and women who run the Tower (like Terry Briggs, above).

Known as Yeomen Warders, or Beefeaters, they bring warmth to the proceedings as they address visitors, protect the crown jewels and carry out ceremonial gun salutes. These walls contain endless stories, and you’ll want to hear them all.

Inside the Tower of London, Series Premiere, Monday, April 5, 8/7c, Smithsonian Channel