Getting ‘The Scoop’ on the Normans who built the Tower of London

By Chris Hobbs
25 June 19

We are delighted to announce that we have produced an online video series, The Scoop, all about the Normans at the Tower of London, for Historic Royal Palaces.

When we were approached to create an educational video series about the Tower of London, we were thrilled at the idea of bringing one of Britain’s most iconic buildings to life. As we discovered, however, uncovering the history of a 1,000 year-old building is no easy task!

The series focuses on the years immediately following the Norman Conquest of England, from 1066 – 1100, as William the Conqueror looked to secure his new kingdom by building the impressive White Tower on the northern bank of the River Thames.

The Scoop | Episode One: Why Did The Normans Build the White Tower?

The series is intended to support teachers and students preparing for the GCSE AQA History examinations and to present competing historical interpretations of the White Tower’s functions and purpose.

To this end, we enlisted a team of entertaining ‘experts’, to passionately convey competing opinions on the White Tower’s role in 11th century London.

Meet the ‘Experts’:
Daniella Frost, Mindiana Bones, Lucian Dursley & Franklin D. Tective

Searching for stone-cold historical truths

At the epicentre of The Scoop, is our no-nonsense presenter, Jezebel Factsman, who’s focused on getting the cast-iron facts. From her news studio, Jezebel conducts hard-hitting interviews with her historical ‘guests’ and talks to the ‘experts’ as they roam around the White Tower itself.

The objective of the series was to model historical debate in a compelling and entertaining way, with the intention of informing and sparking lively classroom discussion and help students frame their own evidence-based arguments.

The Scoop‘s no-nonsense presenter, Jezebel Factsman

Visualising the White Tower

While the structure of the White Tower is broadly consistent with its original appearance 950 years ago, London itself has, of course, grown into one of the world’s most densely populated cities.

In 1100 the White Tower was the largest building London had ever seen and it was important to give students an appreciation of just how imposing the structure would have been in the Norman era.

We partnered with the talented animators at LoveLove Films in order to visualise the original internal and external structure of the White Tower. Pairing the 3D model with our own drone footage transports the viewer back to the building’s original situation.

3D model of the White Tower created by LoveLove Films

Watch the series now!

The 5 x 5 minutes series is now live on the Historic Royal Palaces YouTube channel, so binge it now! We’d be delighted to hear your thoughts so please leave a comment either on the videos or in the comments section below.

And for the true History Bombs fans, you’ll be pleased to hear the series is signed off with a certain Bishop Gundulf rapping some holy bars from St. John’s Chapel within the White Tower!

The series was produced by Chris Hobbs and Louise Quick, written by Dylan Townley and directed by Ellie Rogers. I’d like to say a big thank you to the cast, crew and HRP team who made this project possible.

That’s a wrap!