Changing The Guard | Things to do in London / The Tower of London

Tower of London

The Tower of London, standing guard over London for over 900 years, despite a grim reputation as a place of torture and death, remains, along with its famous Yeoman Warders one of London's most popular attractions.

Start with a video introduction to the Tower of London

History of the Tower of London

The history of the Tower of London begins with William the Conqueror, who invaded England in 1066.

The Conqueror’s White Tower dominated the London skyline, with the highest walls of the tower 7.5m (90ft) high, where nothing like it had been seen before. 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 the White Tower was completed by 1100.

King Edward I spent over £21,000 transforming the Tower into England’s largest and strongest concentric castle, (with one ring of defences inside another), 1275 and 1285.

By about 1350, the Tower had been transformed into the formidable fortress we see today through a series separate building campaigns by medieval kings, including Richard the Lion heart.

The Tower of London

The Tower was never intended as the main royal residence, although many future Kings and Queens stayed there, but as a fortress / stronghold, a role that remained unchanged right up to the late 19th century.

Popular things to see in the Tower of London

The White TowerThe White Tower

The White Tower, one of the most important historic buildings in the world, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Crown JewelsThe Crown Jewels

You'll find the 23,578 gems from the Crown Jewels, including the world’s most famous diamond, in the Jewel House.

Armour made for Henry VIIIRoyal Armour

A fascinating exhibition of royal armour spanning 500 years.

The armour, offers an insight into the power and physical size of England’s kings.

The site where the scaffold stood on Tower GreenTower Green

Execution inside the Tower was a privilege for those of high rank.

Tower Green contains a memorial to the people who were executed here.

Traitors agte at the Tower of LondonPrisoner Exhibition

There have been prisoners at the Tower almost since it was built..

Discover their stories and take part in the new interactive displays.

BeefeaterThere is lot's more to see including:

  • Yeoman Warder Tours get the inside story
  • Exotic animals kept in the Tower
  • Ravens one of Towers most popular sights
  • Need a Break choice of cafes & restaurants

Tower of London opening times

Summer opening times:
01 March - 31 October

Tuesday - Saturday 09:00 - 17:30

Sunday - Monday    10:00 - 17:30

Winter opening times:
01 November - 29 February

Tuesday - Saturday 09:00 - 16:30

Sunday - Monday    10:00 - 16:30

Closed:

24-26 December

1st January

All internal buildings close 30 minutes after last admission.

Book Tower of London Tickets

Skip the queues, ( lines ), and get more time exploring the Tower of London!

Book Tower of London Tickets online and skip the queue.

A tip from a helpful visitor:

We got to the Tower early and got straight in with our pass, skipping the line at the entrance let us get into the Jewel House, before a queue to see the Crown Jewels formed there.

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