Poppies in the Moat

If you didn't know already, I have a slight obsession with the Tower of London. It's probably my favourite part of London, and one of the few parts of London that is actually in the City of London (as opposed to Greater London, for example Parliament and Big Ben are in the city of Westminster, which is part of Greater London).

The installation as of September 2014


HRP, Historic Royal Palaces, announced their plans in February to put an art installation in the Moat of the Tower of London to commemorate the beginning of WWI. The art installation, named "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red", is a collaboration between HRP, artist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper. Their installation is 888,246 ceramic poppies which will fill the Moat by November 11th. The poppies represent all British and Colonial fatalities during the war, and the planting of these started in August.

via my instagram

The first poppy was planted by Yeoman Warder Crawford Butler on August 5th 2014. The date is significant as this was the date of the Brit's first full day of involvement in the war. Poppies are a symbol of remembrance in the UK, and this symbol will surround the castle. The magnitude is supposed to represent the significance of the fatalities we suffered during the war, and magnify the significance of such an important centenary. The poppies are also available for purchase at £25 (+p&p) a go, with some of the money going towards various charities.

Throughout the installation period (5th August- 11th November 2014), the public will be able to witness, at twilight from Tower Hill terrace, the names of 180 serving military killed during the First World War being read out in a roll of honour. After the "Last Post" bugle call is played by a single bugler. The names read out have been nominated by members of the public. The poppies are being planted in this period by around 8,000 volunteers, from across the UK, the last of which will be planted of Armistice Day. To see their efforts check out @BillyBeefeater on twitter or #TowerPoppies.

Volunteers 

I managed to visit the installation when I visited London at the beginning of September. It is truly stunning and magnificent. Even better, it costs nothing to see them, as you don't need to enter into the Tower of London to do so. You can see them as soon as you walk up to the gates, and fences around the palace and- whilst it was a Saturday in London- I couldn't believe the amount of people hanging around to see it! It took a while to get a gap to get some photo's especially as I knew particularly where I wanted to stand. The poppies definitely make you reflect, imagine how different things could be if the outcomes of the wars had been different. I walked all the way around the tower & the poppies really do creep around the fortified walls, its beautiful to see. I'd like to go again before they start to be removed and sent off to their owners in November.



Have you visited the Tower of London? Did you catch the poppy installation? What did you think?


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Comments

  1. This is a really neat thing to see, and I'm bummed that I won't be able to see this sight before it's taken down! Do you know if this is a one-time thing? I love your pictures too… awesome angles.

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    1. Yeah, it's just to celebrate the centenary, I'm not entirely sure when it comes down tho' as the last poppy is planted on Armistice Day? Who knows! And thanks, for the comment about my pictures, I always think they're very unprofessional for an aspiring travel blogger!

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  2. Pity I was in London last week and did not have a chance to do much aside work!!

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    1. Oh no, what a shame you missed it :(

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  3. It's just beautiful. And the message behind the art installation is so strong. Will check it out next time I'm in London for sure.

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    1. I hope you're here before November when it gets taken down!

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  4. What a wonderful way to honor military. Poppies are so lovely !

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    1. Isn't it just? It's such a gorgeous tribute.

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  5. I saw the poppies about 6 weeks ago and hope to go see them again and find out how much the installation has grown! A wonderful sight with such a good meaning behind it!

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    1. Yeah, me too! I hope to get back up to London but can't see it.

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  6. I was at the Tower of London last year but didn't notice the poppies ...

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    1. The installation was announced in February, and the first poppy was planted on the centenary of the first full day of involvement in the Great War. The last poppy will be planted on the centenary of the end of the war.

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  7. Damn I missed it! Ive been to the Tower probably 7 or 8 times but never once seen this. Adding it to my list of worldwide events to catch because it looks like it would be amazing to witness.

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    1. I think it would be great to hear the Honour Call, too.

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  8. So cross with myself that I missed it when I was there a couple of weeks ago, alas I was too busy stuffing my face at borough market and 2 rounds of afternoon tea! I'll just have to pop back!

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    1. Niiice, you will! But don't forget the installation will be removed in November.

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  9. What a nice way to honor the fallen in WWI. I really enjoy how the poppies blend in with the rest of the Tower. I have not spent time in London other than many forgettable hours in Heathrow, but would love to see this exhibit at the Tower before it's too late!

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    1. You should- and explore more of London, too! It's a great city.

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  10. I haven´t been to the tower but you pictures make it look pretty nice! Would love to see all the poppies...

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    1. I *love* the tower of London! It's my favourite attraction in the UK! You should definitely visit, and get on a Yeoman tour. They're great, informative, and funny! Plus the poppies look amazing for the next few weeks.

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  11. I've never even been to London yet but I'd love to see the poppies. I'm a huge fan of gardening...this would be right down my alley! :-)

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    1. Haha, these poppies are ceramic, I'm afraid! They are gorgeous, though :)

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  12. I visited the Tower of London in 2012 and had a ton of fun! Wish I had seen it with all those poppies though- the effect is incredible!

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    1. I bet, I loved visiting the tower. I went in March 2013 for my birthday and it was the best :)

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  13. Such a beautiful and sad representation of the past. It is hard to believe that there were SO many people lost, just from one nation.

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    1. Isn't it :( it's such an insane number. You can barely comprehend, even when they're represented by all these poppies

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  14. I've been to London several times, but never really visited inside the Tower, shame on me! The poppies are a beautiful remembrance of this horrible period in the past. Very well done!!

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    1. Aren't they? The tower is great- I love visiting :)

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  15. This is really cool. I loved visiting the Tower of London when I was there a few years ago. Seeing the poppies would be an added bonus. Hopefully they will do this instillation again sometime.

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    1. It is a great way to see a bit of an up close in detail version of our history. Especially if you go on a yeoman tour :)

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  16. Wow, it looks incredible! What a cool installation. I hope they bring it back in the future as I know I won't be able to see it in person just yet.

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  17. I love the Tower of London too - it's an incredible building. I'm just sorry that I won't get to see the poppies now.

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    1. Well you can live vicariously through my photo's ;)

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  18. What a beautiful place. I love the Tower; it was one of the first places I visited when I first went to London in 1997. With the poppies it's just stunning!

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    1. You know I found a picture on the internet yesterday of how it looks now, with the majority of the gaps filled in-- it's so much fuller than the photo's I have of it.

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  19. I love the poppies..! Is the installation permanent?

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  20. What a great post. We have been to the Tower many times but I had no idea that the poppies meant anything I just assumed they were there to justs look pretty. I learn something new everyday - thank you for sharing and the photos are gorgeous.

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    1. Have you been recently then? Yeah there are events surrounding the poppies over the next month or so too :)

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  21. beautiful! Would love to see that in Person..sad it's so far away

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    1. Indeed, it is definitely a site worth seeing :)

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  22. Very cool! I was just reading another blogger's post on this installation. These look so pretty! And they have such an interesting and historic representation as well. I'd love to see them in person.

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    1. It wasn't Christine from NYC Jetsetter by any chance was it? We seem to be hitting the same trails at the moment, haha! I read her post, too, it's always good to see things from other's perspectives. They are such a good way to commemorate our fallen for sure :)

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  23. It looks lovely!!! I adore the Tower of London, it's so awesome!!

    -Raphael Alexander Zoren

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    1. Have you been? It's one of my favourites :)

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