Lord Nelson joined the Royal Navy as a boy and lost an eye and an arm in battle. He led Britain to victory at the Battle of Trafalgar but died in the fight.
King John kept lions and bears at the Tower of London in 1204. The animals were finally moved to London Zoo in 1831.
Henry VIII was a keen tennis player. He invented the ‘service’ – his servants used to throw the ball up in the air for him because he was too fat to do it himself. While his second wife Ann Boleyn was being beheaded at Tower Green, Henry played tennis at Hampton Court. The tennis court is still in use today.
Horse Guards Parade is a large parade ground. It was formerly the site of the Palace of Whitehall’s tilt yard, where tournaments were held between knights in armour in the time of Henry VIII. Today it is the scene of the annual celebrations of the Monarch’s official birthday — the Trooping of the Colour.
… we dream our dreams away, but 500 years ago the site of Marble Arch was a place of nightmares. Prisoners would “go west” to the Tyburn Tree (near Marble Arch) to be hanged in front of crowds large enough to fill Wembley Stadium.
On the traffic island at the junction of Edgware Road and Marble Arch is a plaque, which marks the place where more than 50,000 people were executed, and only a few minutes walk away is the Tyburn Convent where the nuns still pray for the souls of those who died.
The tallest building in London and the UK is Canary Wharf Tower, which is part of the London Docklands. It is 244 m or 800 ft high and was built in 1991.