Tower of London poppies: Public urged to delay visit as installation enters final eleven days

Historic Royal Palaces, which manages the site, has asked people to delay their visit until after half-term to avoid the crowds

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The Independent Online

The public are being urged to delay visiting the Tower of London’s poppy memorial because the site is becoming overcrowded.

Officials from the Historic Royal Palaces, who manage the exhibition, are asking individuals to consider coming next weekend or during the week when half-term has ended.

The Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation, which was created by artist Paul Cummins, will be completed in 11 days. Since the start of the memorial work, poppies have been individually added to the ‘sea’ with each flower representing a lost British life. The final poppy will be planted on Armistice Day.

Earlier today the Historic Royal Palaces Twitter account posted: “We’re advising people to postpone their visit to the Tower until after half term if possible, or to visit earlier in the day, before 10am, or later in the day, after 6pm.”

Tower Hill tube station – the nearest underground link to the poppies – was closed today for scheduled engineering works, a Transport for London spokesperson claimed  to The Independent “everything was fine” and that replacement bus services were coping with the “slightly larger” crowds.

It is estimated nearly four million visitors have seen the installation of 888,246 ceramic poppies, which each required three days to make, raising £11.2 million for charities that help British veterns, including The Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes.

Meanwhile, queues to see the Crown Jewels kept at the Tower were an hour long.

To cope with the surge in visitor numbers this week, the Tower introduced crowd control barriers and brought in extra staff, a spokeswoman for the palace told the Evening Standard.

poppies.jpg
Visitors view the "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red" installation

Yesterday police officers were drafted in to direct pedestrians to the palace from Tower Hill Underground Station, which was closed due to overcrowding.

The installation has not been without controversy. Yesterday, Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones wrote a piece suggesting the memorial was an “empty” spectacle that encouraged an “inward-looking mood” allowing Ukip to thrive.

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