Other Histories

(The Tower of London Residency. 2008/09)


Within the Tower of London, as with all heritage sites, the historic experience is carefully managed. The buildings are dressed in anecdotes, stories and organised layers of official interpretation, and visitors are constantly reminded of the importance and influence of the events that have taken place in these buildings.

Within this landscape the feeling of historic significance is almost inescapable. What is presented as historic inside the walls of the Tower exists in a particular hierarchy which governs the selection of the particular stories that are presented to the visitor. Certain areas of the Tower of London's past are considered either unimportant, or too ethically complicated or culturally anomalous to warrant public interpretation. It was these areas that I wanted to explore, these places where the layers of official historic interpretation were at their thinnest, or totally absent and other, quieter stories could be found.