The Tower Of London
The Tower Of London

The Tower Of London Tickets

The Tower Of London, London, EC3N 4AB
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  • In the early 1080s, William the Conqueror began to build a massive stone tower at the centre of his London fortress. Nothing like it had ever been seen before.

    Take a guided tour with one of the Yeoman Warders around one of the most famous fortified buildings in the world. Discover its 900 year history as a royal palace and fortress, prison and place of execution, mint, arsenal, menagerie and jewel house.

    Palace Highlights

    Royal Beasts: Discover why animals were imprisoned at the Royal Menagerie.

    Fit for a King: See this fascinating exhibition of five centuries of spectacular royal armour.

    White Tower: Built to strike fear and submission into the unruly citizens of London

    Yeoman Warders: You'll find them standing guard and giving tours at the Tower of London

    Crown Jewels: Priceless symbols of the British monarchy under armed guard in the Jewel House

    The ravens: Legend says that the kingdom and the Tower will fall if the ravens ever leave

    The Fusilier Museum: Visit The Fusilier Museum at the Tower of London.

    Fortress: Pace the battlements and explore the Tower’s history as a formidable royal fortress.

    Tower Green: The place where some of the great names of history died by order of the state

    East Wall Walk: Explore the massive defensive inner curtain wall and the four towers.

    Medieval Palace: The Medieval Palace contained fabulous interiors used by medieval kings and queens.

    *Please note: The Tower of London will close early on 3, 4, 5 October 2016 with the last admission at 14:30. And it will be closed all day on 24, 25, 26 December 2016 and 1 January 2017.

    Please note the opening times:

    Summer Mar-Oct
    Tue-Sat 09:00 to 17:30
    Sun-Mon 10:00 to 17:30

    Winter Nov-Feb
    Tue-Sat 09:00 to 16:30
    Sun-Mon 10:00 to 16:30

    Last admissions are 30 minutes prior to closing time.

    *Please note: The Tower of London will close early on 3, 4, 5 October 2016 with the last admission at 14:30.

    Despite its grim reputation as a place of torture and death, there are many other stories to be told about the Tower of London.

    It is with William the Conqueror (1066-87) that the history of the Tower of London begins. William invaded and defeated the English under King Harold at the Battle of Hastings. Realising he must next secure England’s most powerful city – London – he did not attack directly but first laid waste to the surrounding countryside.

    Seeing that the game was up, the city’s leading men came to William to submit.

    William’s determination and faith in his own military might is reflected in the account of his biographer, William of Poitiers, who tells us that he sent an advance guard to London to construct a fortress and prepare for his triumphal entry into the city.

    After his coronation in Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1066, the new king withdrew to Barking in Essex, ‘while several strongholds were made ready in the City to safeguard against the fickleness of the huge and fierce population, for he saw that his first task was to bring the Londoners completely to heel’.

    Archaeological evidence suggests one of these strongholds was built in the south-east corner of the Roman city walls, on the site of the future Tower of London. These early defences were replaced with a great stone tower (the White Tower) proclaiming the physical power and prowess of the new Norman monarch.

    It is not clear exactly when work started on the Conqueror’s White Tower or precisely when it was finished but the first phase of building work was certainly underway in the 1070s.

    Gundulf, the new Bishop of Rochester, was in charge. Norman masons were employed and some of the building stone was specially imported from William’s native Normandy. Labour, however, was provided by Englishmen. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle comments in 1097 that ‘many shires whose labour was due to London were hard pressed because of the wall that they built around the Tower’. By 1100 the White Tower was complete.

    Nothing quite like it had ever been seen in England before. The building was immense, at 36m x 32.5m (118 x 106ft) across, and on the south side where the ground is lowest, 27.5m (90ft) tall. The Tower dominated the skyline for miles around.

    The Tower was protected by Roman walls on two sides, ditches to the north and west up to 7.5m (25ft) wide and 3.4m (11ft) deep and an earthwork topped by a wooden palisade.

    Although many later kings and queens stayed at the Tower, it was never intended as the main royal residence. Palaces like Westminster had more opulent rooms. Equally the Tower was not the first line of defence against invading armies, though it could rise to this challenge.

    The Tower’s primary function was as a fortress-stronghold, a role that remained unchanged right up until the late 19th century.



    Map & Directions: The Tower of London

    ACCESSIBILITY: You can find detailed information, help, and advice for visitors with disabilities on the Tower of London website.

    ACCESSIBLE TOILETS: Yes.

    GUIDE DOGS: Yes.

    NEAREST TUBE/RAIL STATION: Tower Hill, Fenchurch Street and London Bridge.

    BUSES: 15, 42, 78, 100 and RV1.

    NEAREST CAR PARKS: Lower Thames Street.

  • The Tower Of London

    Tower Hill,
    London,
    EC3N 4AB

  • Full Seating Plan