Many famous people were executed here.
To the west of the viewing platform is 'Tower Hill', where many famous people were executed, including Sir Thomas More and two archbishops of Canterbury Simon Sudbury and William Laud.
The last person to lose his head here was Lord Lovat in 1747. Beyond the Tower of London is the stretch of river between Tower Bridge and London Bridge known as the Pool of London.
Until the nineteenth century this was where ships from all over the world unloaded their cargoes. The resultant congestion and pilfering from ships waiting to land caused the Government to instigate the construction of inland dock basins surrounded by walls to the east of the Tower.
All the docks were built through private finance with incentives such as 21-year trade monopolies. For various reasons the dock companies were not profitable and in 1909 the Port of London Authority (PLA) was set up to control all docks in the London area.
The tall white building in the Edwardian Baroque style to your right used to be the headquarters of the PLA until 1971 when the docks were in the process of being closed down. Today all cargo is handled at the Container Port at Tilbury in the Thames Estuary while London Docklands has been redeveloped.