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CRADLE TOWER

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The Cradle Tower at the Tower of London was built between 1348 and 1355 of squared and coursed ragstone with ashlar dressings with a lead and copper roofs to towers. It is now the principal surviving building of Edward III's works at the tower and was built as a new private watergate to his own lodgings at the Lanthorn Tower. It originally had a portcullis, only the groove which housed it is now visible. The ground floor consists of a central gate passage with a small chamber on either side; the eastern one is believed to have acted as a porters lodge. The tower was also used as prison lodgings and in 1599 2 prisoners are reported as having escaped. In 1679 a committee reviewing the riverside defences ordered the tower to be walled up. The original top floor was demolished in 1776 and rebuilt in 1879 when other works at the tower included the removal of all accretions and the unblocking of the river entrance on the floor below.

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