A Field of Poppies Marks the Anniversary of WWI at the Tower of London

Ceramic poppies to honor the 100th anniversary of World War I. (Photo: Courtesy of Historic Royal Palaces/Tower of London)
Ceramic poppies to honor the 100th anniversary of World War I. (Photo: Courtesy of Historic Royal Palaces/Tower of London)
A gorgeous new installation opened today (August 5) at the Tower of London, to make the centenary anniversary of the start of World War I.

Called Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, the display by ceramic artist Paul Cummins will feature hundreds of thousands of ceramic poppies – the ceremonial flower traditionally used to remember war veterans in Britain – arranged in and around the Tower’s moat.

The official Twitter account for the Historic Royal Palaces – the charity that oversees locations such as the Tower, Hampton Court, Kensington Palace and others – has been sharing photos of the event this week, as well as behind-the-scenes looks at how such a massive undertaking will be completed. Take a look at some of the most impressive below.

Both epic and human in scale #TowerPoppies. #WWIcentenary pic.twitter.com/NK9XscaLcc

— HistoricRoyalPalaces (@HRP_palaces) August 4, 2014

A total of 888, 246 poppies will be planted by veterans, celebrities and public figures between now and November 11, which is Remembrance Day in the UK. Each poppy will represent a British military fatality that occurred during the four-year conflict.

These are a section of our favourite #TowerPoppies photos from this week. Share your photos using #TowerPoppies pic.twitter.com/CEUIAikSY8

— HistoricRoyalPalaces (@HRP_palaces) August 3, 2014

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry each planted their own remembrance poppy on the Tower grounds earlier today.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry visited the #TowerPoppies at the Tower of London earlier today pic.twitter.com/V7L58orLLf

— HistoricRoyalPalaces (@HRP_palaces) August 5, 2014

Each member of the Royal Party planted their own poppy in remembrance #TowerPoppies pic.twitter.com/rfopkGzjlG

— HistoricRoyalPalaces (@HRP_palaces) August 5, 2014

If you’re so inclined, you can become involved with the Tower Poppies efforts in a variety of ways:

Be a part of #TowerPoppies: buy a poppy, dedicate a poppy or register to volunteer http://t.co/PE41pi08FJ pic.twitter.com/kGftDXKUt3

— HistoricRoyalPalaces (@HRP_palaces) August 5, 2014

You can view all the existing dedications to date on their website. You can also see real time updates from Tower visitors on the #TowerPoppies Twitter hashtag. If you’re curious about just how they’re managing to put together over 800,000 of these ceramic tributes, this three-minute clip explains how Cummins and his team created the pieces. 

The flowers will eventually fill the moat at the Tower and the completed installation should be quite powerful to look at, indeed.


Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality, and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast, and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Threads or Blue Sky at @LacyMB. 

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