Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №10/2007


Дополнительные задания к книге “Britain in Brief” В.В. Ощепковой и И.И. Шустиловой

continued from No. 24, 2006; 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9


Text 5. The Tower of London

The Tower’s Cruel Past The Ravens The White Tower Beefeaters The Ceremony of the Keys The Museum of Arms and Armour

Mary I Tudor
Mary I Tudor

The Tower on the north bank of the Thames is one of the most ancient buildings of London. It was founded in the 11th century by William the Conqueror. But each monarch has left some kind of personal mark on it. For many centuries the Tower has been a fortress, a palace, a prison and royal treasury. It is now a museum of arms and armour, and as one of the strongest fortresses in Britain, it has the Crown Jewels.

The grey stones of the Tower could tell terrible stories of violence and injustice. Many sad and cruel events took place within the walls of the Tower. It was here that Thomas More, the great humanist, was falsely accused and executed. Among the famous prisoners executed at the Tower were Henry VIII’s wives Ann Boleyn and Catherine Howard.

When Queen Elizabeth was a princess, she was sent to the Tower by Mary I Tudor (“Bloody Mary”) her half-sister and kept prisoner for some time.

The ravens, whose forefathers used to find food in the Tower, still live there as part of its history. There is a legend that if the ravens disappear the Tower will fall. That is why the birds are carefully guarded.

The White Tower was built by William the Conqueror to protect and control the City of London. It is the oldest and the most important building, surrounded by other towers, which all have different names.

The Tower is guarded by the Yeomen Warders, popularly called “Beefeaters”. There are two letters, E. R., on the front of their tunics. They stand for the Queen’s name Elizabeth Regina. The uniform is the same as the one in Tudor times.

Their everyday uniform is black and red, but on state occasions they wear a ceremonial dress: fine red state uniforms with the golden and black stripes and the wide lace-collar, which were in fashion in the 16th century.

Every night at 10 p.m. in the Tower of London the Ceremony of the Keys (or locking up of the Tower for the night) takes place. It goes back to the Middle Ages. Five minutes before the hour the Headwarder comes out with a bunch of keys and an old lantern. He goes to the guardhouse and cries: “Escort for the keys.” Then he closes the three gates and goes to the sentry, who calls: “Halt, who comes there? The Headwarder replies: “The Keys.” “Whose Keys?” demands the sentry. “Queen Elizabeth’s Keys,” comes the answer. “Advance Queen Elizabeth’s Keys. All’s well.” The keys are finally carried to the Queen’s House where they are safe for the night. After the ceremony everyone who approaches the gate must give the password or be turned away.


Beefeaters бифитеры букв, “мясоеды” (прозвище стражников лондонского Тауэра)

William the Conqueror Вильгельм Завоеватель (1028–1087) (норманнский герцог, завоевавший Англию, победив в битве при Гастингсе (1066), и ставший её королем)

the Crown Jewels королевскиe регалии (короны, скипетры и др. драгоценности)

Thomas More Томас Мор (1478–1535), английский гуманист, государственный деятель и писатель

Henry VIII Генрих VIII (1491–1547), английский король из династии Тюдоров (прославился тем, что в годы его правления проведена Реформация и началось утверждение англиканской церкви; две из его шести жён были казнены в Тауэре)

Mary I Tudor Мария I Тюдор (1516–1558), английская королева с 1553 г. (жестоко преследовала сторонников Реформации; прозвище – Мария Кровавая; пошла на сближение с папством и католической Испанией)

The White Tower Белая башня, построена в 1078–1097 гг. (самая старая часть Тауэра, древнейший архитектурный памятник Лондона)

the Yeomen Warders лейб-гвардейцы, стражи лондонского Тауэра; тж. Beefeaters

Tudor times времена правления династии Тюдоров (1485–1603) (период Реформации, усиления английского абсолютизма, централизованной власти)


Are the sentences below true or false? Correct them if necessary.

1. The Tower of London is on the south bank of the Thames.

2. Now the Tower is a museum of arms and armour.

3. The Crown Jewels are kept in St. Paul’s Cathedral.

4. Both Mary I, nicknamed Bloody Mary, and Elizabeth I were the daughters of Henry VIII.

5. The White Tower is the most recent building.

6. The everyday uniform of the Yeomen Warders is black and red, with the letters E.R. on the front of their tunics.

7. The Ceremony of the Keys is held every night at 10 p.m. when a Beefeater closes the gates, exchanges passwords with a sentry, and gives him the keys.


Match these words from the text to their definitions.

1. guard
2. arms
3. sentry
4. armour
5. accuse
6. escort
7. occasion

a) a person, a group of people or vehicles protecting someone
b) say that someone is guilty of a crime
c) someone whose job is to guard a place, person or object
d) weapons used for fighting wars
e) a soldier standing outside a building as a guard
f) a special event
g) metal or leather clothing worn by soldiers in old times


Use an article, if necessary.

1. ________ Tower of London has many well-known features.

2. These include _________White Tower, which is __________ oldest part, _________ Bloody Tower, where some _________ prisoners were kept, and Traitor’s Gate, an entrance for __________ prisoners on __________ bank of _________ river.

3. _________ Crown Jewels have been kept there since 1303 and are on ________ public display.

4. Perhaps ________ most famous image associated with _________ Tower is that of _________ Yeomen Warders, _________ official guards, who are also known as _________ Beefeaters.

5. They were established in __________ 16th century and still wear __________ costumes of _________ Tudor period.


1. Role play. Writing letters.

The teacher can divide the class into groups of 4 students. One student in each group interviews the other 3 students, one after another, on which three most important places or things they would like to see and why, in the Tower of London if they were to visit it. The interviewer sums up the answers and tells the class about the results of the survey. The teacher can comment on them.

The interviewer must sound polite and start by saying: “Excuse me. We are carrying out a survey. Could you answer a few questions, please?”

The main questions can be: “Which three most important places or things would you like to see in the Tower of London if you were to visit it?” and “Why do you think it is worth seeing?”

2. Write an e-mail letter to your friends in England. They have asked you what you know about the history of the Tower of London and what exactly you would like to see there.


I. 2, 4, 6, 7 – True; 1, 3, 5 – False

II. 1. c; 2. d; 3. e; 4. g; 5. b; 6. a; 7. f

III. 1. The; 2. the, the, the, –, –, the, the; 3. The, –; 4. the, the, the, the, –; 5. the, –, the

By Viktoria Oschepkova, Irina Shustilova

to be continued