The Tradition of Keeping Wild Animals in the Tower of London

TLDR In the 13th century, Henry III of England received a gift of three lions, a polar bear, and an elephant, which established the tradition of keeping wild and exotic animals in the Tower of London. Eventually, the menagerie was moved to Regents Park and London Zoo was opened, ending the era of wild animals in the Tower.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 In the final episode of their London week, the hosts discuss the gift of a polar bear to Henry III in the 13th century, which was kept in the Tower of London along with other animals.
04:02 Henry III of England was given three lions (or leopards) as a gift, which were kept in the Tower of London along with a polar bear and an elephant, establishing the tradition of keeping wild and exotic animals in the Tower throughout the Middle Ages.
07:46 The Duke of Wellington decides to move the menagerie from the Tower of London to Regents Park, where London Zoo eventually opens, and the menagerie at the Tower of London is closed for good.
11:43 The Metropolitan Line, the world's first Underground Railway, extends over 50 miles from London to rural Buckinghamshire.
15:39 The Metropolitan Railway in London accumulates land and builds housing estates to encourage people to use their railway and buy houses in the surrounding areas.
19:18 In 1915, the Metropolitan Railway renamed their guidebook to "Metroland" and began selling the idea of an idealized rural England to Londoners, enticing them to buy houses in places like Wembley, Rickmansworth, and Neesden.
22:52 Stanley Baldwin's famous speech in the 1920s about England being the country and the country being England was directed towards the upwardly mobile nuclear families living in the houses built by the Metropolitan Railway in Metroland, which was the result of a housing boom.
26:31 John Betcherman, an intellectual ahead of his time, wrote about Metroland and its vanishing rural nature, and later made a film about it in 1973, which showcased the line from Baker Street to Verney Junction and ended with the line "grass triumphs."
Categories: History

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