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The Royal Mint issued the continuation of the epic story of London’s imposing royal palace and fortress with a second commemorative coin series. A set of four commemorative coins will mark four further fascinating aspects of the diverse history of the Tower of London, including some of the many institutions founded at the Tower and functioning there for hundreds of years.
The first coin in the series – The White Tower – will feature the iconic mace of office carried by the Chief Yeoman Warder of the Tower of London. Additional coins will feature The Royal Menagerie, The Royal Mint and The Infamous Prison.
The Tower of London was built as a secure fortress and a symbol of royal power. Behind the castle's walls were storehouses for weapons and the Royal Mint produced the nation's coins. It was also a royal palace with luxuriously furnished apartments and a menagerie of royal beasts. But the Tower was also used to contain people who posed a serious threat to national security.
The first prisoner of the Tower, Ranulf Flambard, Bishop of Durham was also the Tower's first escapee. In 1101 he climbed through one of the White Tower's windows using a rope smuggled to him in a gallon of wine. Over 800 years later, on 15 August 1941, Josef Jakobs was the last person to be executed by firing squad at the Tower, having been found guilty of spying for Germany during the Second World War. In between, the Tower has held in custody Scottish Kings and French Dukes, young princes and princesses and lords, ladies and archbishops, alongside common thieves, religious conspirators and even a few politicians.
The fifth crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the George IV State Diadem and drop earrings.
ELIZABETH II·D·G·REG·F·D·5 POUNDS·2020·
Depicts an actual inscription in the Tower, the ‘graffiti’ carved by prisoners hundreds of years ago, which has been preserved and can still be seen today. The Norman arched window is a distinctive feature at the Tower and it mirrored the curve of a coin, works as a device to unify the four coins in series.
TOWER OF LONDON