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Postcards from the Tower of London

In this series, Bridget Clifford, Keeper of the Tower Armouries explores the changing face of the Tower of London as depicted overtime on picture postcards.  She also provides a fascinating commentary on the scribbles, marks and various messages written on the backs.  

Picture Postcards could be compared to social media messaging today. Throughout the later 19th and 20th centuries, they were easily available, cheap and delivered all over the country multiple times per day Not only do postcards give us an insight into how people lived, travelled and worked, but also when compared and analysed, they can provide an insightful records into our buildings and cities. 

The Tower of London was first photographed in 1852. The view captured in Mr Hilditch’s snap from Tower Hill looking East is still photographed by passers by thousands of times each day.  

Postcards of the Tower were produced all over the country and sold from countless outlets throughout London, including the combined Ticket Office and Refreshment Room opposite the West Gate in the Tower and a postcard stall near the Byward gate. However, Tower views were widely available elsewhere, as evidenced by postmarks far removed from London reflecting the widespread use of postcards beyond a reminder of a grand day out at the Tower.  

Postcards gallery

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