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All You Need to Know About the Tower of London

Discover centuries of history at the Tower of London, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From royal palace to prison, this iconic fortress holds the crown jewels and has witnessed pivotal events in British h...

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The Tower of London has served as a royal menagerie, housing exotic animals like lions, elephants, and polar bears.

The crown jewels held at the Tower of London are so valuable that they cannot be insured, making them truly priceless.

The White Tower, the central building of the Tower of London, has walls that are up to 15 feet thick and were built using over 70,000 tons of limestone.

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Tower of London Tickets and Tours

Tower of London Tickets with Access to Crown Jewels
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Combo (Save 5%): Tower of London with Access to Crown Jewels + Tower Bridge Tickets
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Tower of London Early Access Private Tour with Beefeater Guide
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St. Paul's Cathedral & Tower of London Guided Tour with Thames River Cruise
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What is the Tower of London?

Tower of London is a historic fortress located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It has served variously as a royal palace, a prison, a mint, and a menagerie, and is now a popular tourist attraction. This iconic landmark is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and for good reason. It's a place where history comes to life, and where you can learn about the many different roles that the Tower has played over the centuries.

Here you'll find all the relevant information you need to know about the Tower of London, including its history, architecture, and attractions. You'll also learn about the many different ways to visit the Tower, and how to make the most of your time there.

Tower of London Highlights

Each section of the Tower of London offers unique insights into the history and culture of England.

About Tower of London
About Tower of London
About Tower of London

Walk around the Tower Green

Tower Green is a grassy area in the Tower of London where many notable executions took place. Highlights include the scaffold where Anne Boleyn and other famous prisoners were beheaded.

About Tower of London

Marvel at the Medieval Palace

The Medieval Palace is a series of rooms that were used by English monarchs in the 13th and 14th centuries. Highlights include the King's Bed-chamber, the Wakefield Tower, and the Chapel of St. John the Evangelist.

About Tower of London

Learn the history of the Bloody Tower

The Bloody Tower is a tower located on the south side of the Inner Ward. It was the site of several notable events, including the imprisonment and suspected murder of the Princes in the Tower.

About Tower of London

Visit the Beauchamp Tower

The Beauchamp Tower is located on the east side of the Inner Ward. It was used as a prison for high-ranking prisoners, and many of them left graffiti on the walls that can still be seen today.

History of the Tower of London In A Nutshell

1066: William the Conqueror invades England and claims the throne.

1070s: William orders the construction of a fortress on the north bank of the River Thames, known as the White Tower.

1097: William Rufus, son of William the Conqueror, expands the Tower by building a curtain wall and adding a moat.

1189-1199: Richard the Lionheart improves the defences of the Tower and adds the Jewel House to store the Crown Jewels.

1215: King John loses the Crown Jewels in the mud of the River Thames while fleeing a rebellion.

1272 - 1307: Edward I adds a new entrance, the Wakefield Tower, and a new curtain wall with St. Thomas's Tower.

1381: The Tower is attacked during the Peasants' Revolt, and the Archbishop of Canterbury is beheaded.

1483-1485: Richard III imprisons his nephews, the Princes in the Tower, who are later believed to have been murdered.

1536-1540: Henry VIII orders the execution of Anne Boleyn and several other high-profile prisoners within the Tower.

1605: Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators are imprisoned and tortured in the Tower for their involvement in the Gunpowder Plot.

1642 - 1651: The Tower is used as a prison during the English Civil War, and several royalists are executed there.

1660-1688: The Tower is used as a royal menagerie, with exotic animals such as lions, tigers and elephants.

1834: The Royal Mint moves out of the Tower and into a new building in the city.

1840: The Tower becomes a popular tourist attraction, and several renovations and restorations are undertaken.

1988: The Tower of London is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Who Built the Tower of London?

The Tower of London was one of the first Norman castles built in England, and it served as a royal palace, a fortress, and a prison throughout its history. The initial construction of the Tower was overseen by Gundulf, the Bishop of Rochester, and the design was based on Norman military architecture. Over time, the Tower was expanded and modified by various monarchs, architects and engineers, resulting in the complex and imposing structure that is seen today.

Architecture & Design of the Tower of London

The Tower of London is an architectural marvel and one of the most impressive medieval fortresses in the world. The original structure was built as a keep or donjon, the White Tower, which was later encircled by a curtain wall with towers and a moat. The architecture of the Tower reflects the military needs of the time, with thick walls, battlements and narrow slits for archers to shoot through.

Over the centuries, various monarchs and rulers added to the complex, creating a unique blend of architectural styles, including Gothic, Tudo and Victorian. Today, visitors to the Tower can see examples of architectural features from different eras, including the Norman arches and vaults, the Tudor windows, and the Victorian Gothic Revival-style additions. The Tower's design and architecture reflect its varied and fascinating history, making it a truly unique and awe-inspiring destination.

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About Tower of London

Tower of London—UNESCO World Heritage Site

In 1988, the Tower of London was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognizing its outstanding universal value to humanity. The UNESCO designation acknowledges the tower's historical importance as a symbol of royal power, as well as its architectural significance as a well-preserved example of Norman military architecture. 

The Tower of London's designation as a World Heritage Site also recognizes its cultural significance as a place where many important events in English history took place, including the imprisonment and execution of notable figures such as Anne Boleyn and Sir Thomas More. The UNESCO designation helps to ensure that the Tower of London remains protected and preserved for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tower of London

What is the Tower of London?

The Tower of London is a historic fortress in central London built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century. It has served as a royal palace, prison, and place of execution. Today, it's a popular tourist destination and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Why is the Tower of London famous?

The Tower of London is famous for its rich history, cultural significance, distinctive architecture, and the Crown Jewels. It has served as a royal palace, prison, and place of execution throughout its history, and is associated with famous historical figures and myths.

Is it safe to visit the Tower of London?

Yes, it is safe to visit the Tower of London. The attraction has implemented a number of safety measures to ensure the well-being of its visitors and staff. These measures include timed entry, capacity limits, social distancing protocols, and enhanced cleaning procedures.

How much are Tower of London tickets?

Depending on the type of ticket you purchase, there are different prices available starting from £29.90.

What can I do at the Tower of London?

At the Tower of London, you can explore historic buildings and exhibitions, enjoy guided tours by guards, witness the Ceremony of the Keys, participate in interactive activities for children, and attend special events and exhibitions throughout the year.

Who designed the Tower of London?

The Tower of London was not designed by a single architect. The design and construction of the Tower spanned multiple centuries and involved various architects and builders. The earliest parts of the Tower were built by Gundulf, the Bishop of Rochester, and the design was based on Norman military architecture.

When was the Tower of London built?

The Tower of London was built in 1078 by William the Conqueror.

Where is the Tower of London located?

The Tower of London is located in London, United Kingdom. The official address is London EC3N 4AB, United Kingdom. Follow these directions on Map.

How can I get to the Tower of London?

The Tower of London is located in central London and is easily accessible by public transportation. You can take the tube, bus, train or riverboat. It is recommended to use public transportation or walk as parking in the area is limited.

How many entrances does the Tower of London have?

The Tower of London has a main entrance on the south side, known as the Middle Tower, which faces the Thames River. There are also entrances on the east and west sides of the complex, known as the Byward Tower and the Bell Tower respectively.