By the time Henry VIII was crowned king of England in 1509, the mighty fortress built by William the Conqueror was in a very poor state of repair. The Tower's crumbling walls could not withstand the power of the latest heavy siege guns being cast on the continent and Henry preferred his modern palace at Greenwich to the draughty medieval chambers inhabited by his ancestors.

Yet for all it's drawbacks the Tower of London was still capable of functioning as a armoury, barracks and prison. William de la Pole, one of the four Yorkist brothers who had a claim to the English throne, was imprisoned in The Tower from 1502 until his death 37 years later.

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