Address: London EC3N 4AB


Time: From 9.00am or 10.00am

Time Information:

Phone: 0203 166 6000, 0845 482 7777

Entry Price: £24.50


300m from Fenchurch Street

100m from Tower Hill

When Edward the Confessor died in January 1066, his brother in law took the Crown to became Harold I. A problem arose as William of Normandy, a distant relative, had been promised the Crown too. William invaded England to claim the Crown and defeated Harold at the Battle of Hastings.

London was the great prize, but William didn’t rush. He took the surrounding areas and, fearful for their lives, the Londoners sent a delegation to offer him the city. Cautious about the reception he would receive, he sent an advanced party to build strongholds, one of which was on the Tower of London site. Once the site was secure, work started on building the great ‘White Tower’, this in the 1070’s. It was a huge structure and dominated the London skyline.

Upgrading the defences became a regular occurrence and in medieval times work included the Wakefield and Lanthorn Towers, as well as two curtain walls. It became incredibly secure so a good place for storage. The Royal Mint was based here and exotic wild animals were kept too. It was also used as a prison and became a notorious place for torture and execution. Two young princes were held and murdered here in the 15th century and in the 16th century, under Henry VIII, there were a huge number of religious prisoners following his split from the Roman Catholic church. Executions included former queen Lady Jane Grey, Sir Thomas More and Anne Boleyn.

During the English Civil War the Parliamentarians took over the Tower, but from then on it became used more for administration, accommodation and stores. The Royal Mint moved out in 1812 and the animals went to the newly opened London Zoo in the 1830’s. In 1845 the Duke of Wellington, Constable of the Tower, laid the foundation stone for the Waterloo Barracks. The Tower then became more of a tourist attraction although there was still imprisonment and executions in the 20th century, mostly during the wars. It’s a World Heritage Site, attracts 2m visitors a year and is home to the Crown Jewels.

As far as the best London landmarks are concerned, the Tower of London would be high on everybody’s list.

Click on the pics below for an enlarged view and use the arrow towards the right edge of each pic to go on to the next.