Fri. Aug 12th, 2022

So many of us have visited the Tower of the London, had a tour with a Beefeater and read all the books about Ann Boleyn, so we might think we know every corner of it.

But MyLondon has been in touch with someone who has a completely unique insight instead – because she actually lives there.

Megan Clawson, 21, lives in a house that is actually built right into the walls of the huge medieval fortress that has guarded London since the days of William the Conqueror.

READ MORE: Black train guard who received death threats after fighting racism to get a job

Megan says she sometimes suddenly thinks she’s in a royal court (ME)

It’s an incredibly cool place to stay.

The former King’s College student has a beautiful balcony where she sits and studies surrounded by adventurous towers and butchers.

Tourists passing by along the wall walk over her and often wave down and say hello.

“They often think I’m some kind of character in a restoration or a princess locked inside a tower,” she laughs.

But who could blame them. After finishing her studies at uni, Megan has started working as an extra in movies and with flowing red hair and dress, she is every inch the tower princess.

She is also smart and uses her acting skills to present her unique home to the world in a series of TikTok videos that help explain the tower’s hidden history to a whole new generation.

“People think they know about the tower, but there are many pieces that people never see and many things that cannot be proven with certainty, so I try to help people explore some of the myths,” she says. me as we walk around the inner courtyard with her father, Beefeater Chris Clawson.

“I’m allowed to go anywhere and really do everything. I sometimes get a few funny glances when I walk my dog ​​in the moat.

“But I’ve got a new appreciation for history because I live right in it. I get a little star struck every now and then because of the amount of amazing historical figures that have adorned these walls.

“There are little moments where you walk around when you suddenly feel like you’re in a royal court. I feel so lucky to live here.”

Megan gains access to some rather unique areas such as the hidden chapel of Sir Thomas More and a crypt that hides a mass grave of people who have died at the tower.

And certainly, as we approach Megan’s house, I see that it’s really built into the walls – or at least a building that is right against the east wall.

It is strange to see normal washing lines with clothes hung on them in the middle of a fortress.

“We have arrowheads in the walls,” Megan says proudly, “but otherwise it looks quite normal inside.”

We enter through an arched door and – yes it’s a bit normal. But it is very thin!

There is a central staircase that goes all the way up inside and there is definitely willow gap deep into the exterior walls.

Megan’s house is an old medical facility literally built into the tower walls (ME)

Watch Megan’s amazing TikTok video about one of the tower’s hidden gems

The rooms next to the narrow hallway also look pretty normal, except when we get to Megan’s balcony, and suddenly we get a great view of border areas and round towers with the City of London skyline hanging in the background.

It really is something else and makes you feel like you are in a Disney movie.

“I love looking out of here, it’s amazing, and I think the view around the tower has changed so much and always changes,” Megan says.

Megan pictured with her off-duty Beefeater father Chris Clawson

“However, the insulation is definitely from the 1200s … It can be very very cold in the winter until they put the heat on, then it’s really hot in December!

“It’s a pretty modern home though. There are nice rugs and we can bring all our own furniture in. It’s not like a dark damp dungeon,” laughs Megan.

She first came to live with her father on the tower in 2020, when she realized that it was not very fun to have an existence in Covid-hit London.

Now she has settled in a community that includes about 30 families of Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters).

She can often be found meeting friends in the moat or walking her fluffy Coton de Tuléar dog, Ethel, there.

The hallway inside Megan’s narrow house (ME)

“It’s a very friendly community. Everywhere you go, people say hello to each other,” she says.

She is hugely proud of her father, who served 31 years in the RAF before becoming Yeoman Warder – one of the 32 guards who protect the fortress in the Queen’s name.

He continues to star in the Channel 5 series Inside the Tower of London, which follows him through the tough challenges of training to be a Yeoman.

“I love walking around here with my dad. Often I’m like his personal photographer, but when I go up and give him a hug, people are really confused about why I’m hugging a Beefeater,” laughs Megan.

“We visited the tower when I was about eight or nine, and my mother swears she remembers him saying, ‘I really want to be a Beefeater.’

“But he got his long service and good performance medals – you have to have these to qualify – and before he knew it, he was here.

“It suits him down to a tee because he loves to perform and loves the story.

“It’s quite fun to see him sitting there when he comes back for a break with his pants and braces on. I’ve learned not to pick up the hat as it gets pretty sweaty!

Megan pictured inside the bar Yeoman warders, where she is allowed to share a drink with Beefeaters

Watch Megan’s TikTok video about the legend of the princes in the tower

“I have known to help him get ready and do the buttons up the side before he goes on parade, as it is quite difficult to put on all the uniform.

“I’m 100 percent proud of him. Since he sees him as such a prominent part of something, he’s probably only about the 407th yeoman since the Duke of Wellington (Wellington ordered that all Beefeaters should be men of distinguished military service and the office could no longer be bought or sold from 1826), and his name will always be on the official list of the Byward Tower.

The Beefeaters are also a bit famous in their own way and often entertain celebrities at the tower.

“It’s pretty weird because my dad always says to me ‘OK, Wayne Rooney or Princess Ann showed up today’!

“I try to get him to write to me when celebrities are here, but I usually seem to miss them!”

As you might expect, there is an eerie side to towering life, and Megan thinks she and her father may well share their house with a few non-dead spirits.

“My father will not take me to the Salt Tower because he thinks it is haunted. Many Beefeaters have to lock it up at night and they talk about a strange atmosphere in there.

“Dogs also find it strange, and people who work in retail say there’s a store room where they’re really horrified.

The towers Megan can see from her home (ME)

“I went to Bloody Tower one day when it was deserted and I definitely got a mood. I get the feeling that suddenly there is a glimpse of a Tudor skirt.

“When my father is gone, I hear slamming doors and inexplicable footprints.

“At home, my dog ​​gets scared at certain times and I tend to talk to the spirits to try to make things feel better.

“So I just say into the silence, ‘Hey, how are you?’

“I walked past an old gunpowder shop late one night and thought I saw a glowing figure, but I tried to convince myself that it was not.”

But a character who is certainly not a ghost is Megan’s girlfriend.

“He’s on Scottish guards and he was on guard duty here and I wanted to go up and talk to him and do little dances for him but he could not react so I think people thought I was crazy or a strange tourist trying to make the guard laugh, ”she laughs.

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Megan says that living in a medieval fortress is not really difficult.

She must, of course, log in and out, and she admits to coming back drunk a few times late in the evening and having a “chat with a Beefeater” at the gate.

Megan in the picture with her dog Ethel, who she often walks in the moat

“But they’m pretty used to it,” she jokes.

And if she gets in trouble, she has a good back-up.

“I always say I have 32 uncles and aunts, all of whom are former military personnel who can look after me,” she laughs.

So if you happen to be at the tower and see the princess sitting high up in one of the towers, she is very much not a prisoner, give her a wave, that’s probably Megan!


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