London Tickets
Tickets
English
GBP
Contents

Secrets, Swords & Sovereigns: Explore Tower of London's White Tower

What is the White Tower?

Nestled in the heart of historic London, the White Tower is a monumental piece of history and architectural marvel. As the oldest part of the Tower of London, it was built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century to signify Norman power. The White Tower has served as a royal palace, fortress, and prison. Today, it houses an array of displays, including the Royal Armouries collections, offering a glimpse into England's turbulent past. The structure's striking Norman architecture and its long-standing significance in English history make it a must-visit for anyone interested in the royal heritage and architectural grandeur.

Quick facts about the White Tower

White Tower of the Tower of London

Plan your visit to the White Tower of Tower of London

White Tower of the Tower of London
White Tower of the Tower of London

What's inside White Tower?

The iconic White Tower is a beacon of history and heritage that beckons you to explore its storied walls. As you step inside, let the grandeur of the past envelop you and embark on a journey through time.

White Tower of the Tower of London

Chapel of St. John the Evangelist

The Chapel of St. John the Evangelist is a remarkable piece of Anglo-Norman ecclesiastical architecture. Built for William the Conqueror, its soaring columns and intricate carvings transport visitors back to a time of regal ceremonies and spiritual reverence. Experience the awe-inspiring atmosphere of what was once a royal place of worship designed to impress and inspire.

White Tower of the Tower of London

Home of the Royal Armouries

Delve into the rich martial history of England within the Royal Armouries at the White Tower. Behold the Line of Kings is a stunning exhibition showcasing 350 years of royal armor, including the ornate armors of Henry VIII, Charles I, and James II. Each piece tells a story of battles fought, and sovereignty defended, inviting you to uncover the layers of bravery and craftsmanship intertwined with the nation's history.

White Tower of the Tower of London

Torture at the Tower

Ascend to the top floor to uncover a darker chapter of the Tower's history. Here lies an original 18th-century executioner's block and axe, symbols of the Tower's grisly past as a place of punishment and execution. Learn about the myths and truths surrounding these chilling artifacts and the famous and infamous characters who crossed paths with them.

White Tower of the Tower of London

Architectural Marvel

The White Tower stands as a testament to medieval strength and ingenuity. Explore the original Norman keep, marvel at the architectural details, and discover the Tower's role as a fortress, royal palace, and prison. Every corner tells a story of power, intrigue, and survival, from its strategic defensive design to the exquisite stone works.

White Tower of the Tower of London

Interior

Venture inside to experience the Tower's interior splendor. Each floor is divided into chambers with distinct purposes, from the grand hall to the intimate chambers, all surrounding the magnificent St. John's Chapel. Admire the period's craftsmanship, the rooms' strategic design, and the hidden stories each wall whispers.

History of White Tower in a nutshell

Journey through the centuries as you uncover the intriguing history of the White Tower, a symbol of royal power and an architectural marvel since the Norman Conquest. Commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1066, this formidable stone keep was designed to dominate and protect. Though the exact date of its foundation is debated, it's widely accepted that construction began around 1078 under the watchful eye of Bishop Gundulf. This magnificent structure served as a royal residence and fortress and a prison for notable figures like Ranulf Flambard.

Throughout its storied past, the White Tower has undergone various transformations. By the early 14th century, its role shifted from a royal residence to a storehouse for records and, later, gunpowder. The 17th century saw further changes to its structure and defenses, preparing it for conflicts during the English Civil War. As time passed, the Tower evolved, becoming a cherished national monument and, in 1988, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Who built White Tower?

White Tower of the Tower of London

The White Tower was built by William the Conqueror in the 1080s and was made bigger. It was the most protected part of the castle, served as a home for the king and his guests, and even had a church inside. In 1240, Henry III decided to paint it white. Now, it's part of the Tower of London museum where people come to visit. Inside the White Tower, you can see the Royal Armouries collections.

Architecture of White Tower 

The White Tower symbolizes Norman's skill, known for its strong build and smart layout. It measures 36 by 32 meters at the base and stands 27 meters tall on the southern side. 

Inside, each floor has three main sections. The biggest room is in the west, and a chapel is in the southeast. The lowest level was for storage and had a well. The higher floors had living spaces used by the Tower's officials. These spaces highlight the White Tower's role as a strong defense, royal home, and place to keep valuables.

It's made mostly of tough Kentish ragstone and local mudstone. Over time, some of this was replaced with Portland stone. Yet, you can still see two of the original windows, showing its lasting design.

Now, the White Tower welcomes visitors into its historical world. It houses a vast collection of armaments and shares stories of its rich past. As you explore, you experience its deep history, all presented with honor and care.

Tips for visiting White Tower at the Tower of London

History Buff: Dig beyond armor suits! Find the inscription marking Henry VIII's failed escape attempt hidden near the Bloody Tower door.

Thrill Seeker: Descend into the Traitor's Gate after dark. Hear whispers of executions as you walk on the same ground as beheaded queens.

Art Aficionado: Seek out the medieval graffiti etched on the White Tower walls. These hidden messages offer glimpses into the lives of long-gone prisoners.

Family Fun: Skip the traditional tour! Grab a "Clues of the Tower" booklet and turn your visit into a detective mission for hidden symbols and secrets.

Romance Spark: Plan a sunset picnic on the Tower Green with panoramic views. As twilight paints the sky, imagine the royal dramas that unfolded within these walls.

Local Lore: Join a "Yeoman Warder" tour, led by costumed guards with insider stories and quirky jokes. Their historical anecdotes bring the Tower to life.

Remember: Book tickets online to avoid queues and maximize your White Tower adventure! These tailored tips will ensure your visit is as unique and fascinating as the Tower itself.




Buy tickets to the Tower of London

Tower of London Tickets with Access to Crown Jewels
Free Cancellation
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
Flexible Duration
More details
Tower of London Early Access Private Tour with Beefeater Guide
Free Cancellation
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
Flexible Duration
Guided Tour
More details
St. Paul's Cathedral & Tower of London Guided Tour with Thames River Cruise
Free Cancellation
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
4 hr. 30 min.
Guided Tour
More details
Tower of London Guided Tour with Thames River Boat Ride
Free Cancellation
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
4 hr.
Guided Tour
More details
Combo (Save 5%): Tower of London + Kensington Palace Tickets
Free Cancellation
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
Flexible Duration
More details
Go City London Explorer Pass: Choose 2 to 7 Attractions
Free Cancellation
Extended Validity
Instant Confirmation
Mobile Ticket
Flexible Duration
More details

Frequently asked questions about the White Tower

What is the White Tower?

The White Tower is a historic castle and fortress located at the center of the Tower of London, known for its Norman architecture.

Why should I visit the White Tower?

Famous for its rich history and Norman architecture, the White Tower is an emblem of royal power and medieval military architecture. It's a must-visit for history enthusiasts.

What can I do at White Tower?

You can explore its historic rooms, view the Royal Armouries collection, and learn about its history as a royal palace, prison, and fortress.

How can I get tickets to the White Tower?

Tickets can typically be purchased online.

How much are White Tower tickets?

Prices vary based on age, group size, and discounts. Check the official Tower of London website for the most current pricing.

When did the White Tower open?

The White Tower was believed to have been constructed in the 1070s and open to the public as part of the Tower of London for centuries.

What's inside the White Tower?

Inside, you'll find historic armor, weapons from the Royal Armouries, and exhibits on the Tower's history as a fortress, royal residence, and prison.

What is the best time to visit the White Tower?

The best time is typically right at opening or later in the afternoon to avoid crowds, and weekdays are usually less busy than weekends.

Are there dining options available at White Tower?

At the Tower of London, you'll find the New Armouries Café, serving a range of options from hot meals to sandwiches, paninis, and salads. It also offers breakfast, hot drinks, croissants, and pastries. The café is designed to be wheelchair accessible.