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The Tower of London has been many things over the years such as a fortress a state prison a zoo an armory repository for the crown jewels a home for Tudor monarchs and today a museum Inside the tower walls has been the last sight for many of its prisoners Although there were some prisoners that have escaped the tower walls and fled to neighboring countries William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066 defeating Harold II Duke William of Normandy built on to the existing castle in 1078 He then ordered the construction of what is now called the White Tower It is said to have been completed in 1097 It is called the White tower ever since Henry VIII had it whitewashed The Tower is very large nearly 13 acres between the walls of the fortress The entrance of the White Tower is on the second floor with a removable staircase The entrance was designed to make it harder to enter the tower in case of an invasion The third floor of the White Tower is the Chapel of St John the Evangelist Which is one of the oldest preserved church interiors The first distinguished prisoner in the tower was the Bishop of Durham He was very overweight greedy and unpopular with nearly everybody He was sent to the Tower because he stole from nearly everybody in town His brother and servants dragged him to prison with all of his bags of money He lived very well in the tower since he had a lot of money he could bribe the guards into getting him whatever he desired One night in February 1101 he gave a huge banquet with a lot of food and liquor When he had gotten all of the guards very drunk he pushed his moneybags through a window and slid down a rope to freedom Ralph Flambard was one of the first prisoners in the tower Henry I
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