Days out in England: Locking up the Tower
by Jennifer Lyall
The Tower of London at Night
One of the most interesting experiences I had in England was the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London. I had read about it in a Tom Clancy novel, and registered to observe the ceremony when I was there on my honeymoon 10 years ago.
The guards have a special ceremony that they do as part of the lock-up procedures for the Tower.
It's been a tradition for hundreds of years and they do the same chants and walk the same route every night as they lock up the Tower.
Only a small group of people are allowed to observe the ceremony each night.
The impressions that have stuck with me were the strong sense of tradition, that they do the same ritual every night... even though it could have easily changed over the years, they have maintained the same routine. You also felt special, being part of that tradition... a glimpse into the past, a part of history in some sense.
And it was really neat to leave afterwards through the back door!