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The Tower of London
- The Tower of London
- Alt Name:
- The White Tower
- United Kingdom
- The Normans
- 1000AD - 1099AD
- Elizabeth I of England
- Banqueting House, Jewel Tower,
Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey,
about The Tower of London
The Tower of London, originally known as the White Tower, was commissioned by the first Norman king, William the Conqueror and work on it was underway by the 1070s. It was designed as a fortress-stronghold, a role that remained unchanged right up until the late 19th century.
The Tower of London was also used as a residence for monarchs of England, and it was traditionally used by monarchs in the run up to their coronation. However the Tower is most famous for its use as a prison.
The Tower of London had many famous prisoners within its walls - from the little known Ranulf Flambard, Bishop of Durham who managed to escape in 1101, to the most famous prisoners, such as Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII, who was executed within the walls in 1536, as Henry went off to woo his third wife, Jane Seymour.
Anne’s daughter, Elizabeth I was imprisoned here by her half-sister Mary I. She sat on the steps by the watergate (known now as Traitor’s gate) and wept. She was later forgiven and released.
Other famous prisoners incarcerated in the Tower of London include Henry VI (murdered), Sir Thomas More (The Man for all Seasons – executed), Perkin Warbeck, who claimed to be one of the sons of Edward IV (hanged at Tyburn), and Lady Jane Grey (the 9 days Queen - executed). The list seems endless.
Also at the Tower are mysteries, for example, what did happen to the Princes in the Tower? It also supposedly boasts ghosts, notably Arbella Stuart, cousin of James I who was imprisoned and possibly murdered in the Queens’ house in 1615.
There is a great deal to see and do at the Tower: the beefeaters, ravens, site of the menagerie and just walking around it to soak up the history. Allow plenty of time for your visit.
Just as empires rise and fall so do entry fees and opening hours! While we work as hard as we can to ensure the information provided here about The Tower of London is as accurate as possible, the changing nature of certain elements mean we can't absolutely guarantee that these details won't become a thing of the past. If you know of any information on this page that needs updating you can add a comment above or now.
Address: The Tower of London, London, England, EC3N 4AB
Phone: +44 (0)20 3166 6000
The Tower of London is located in London on the banks of the River Thames. Tower Hill underground station (Circle and District lines) is very close to the site. By train go to Fenchurch Street or London Bridge stations. By Docklands Light Railway (DLR) Tower Gateway Station is located adjacent to Tower Hill station. Buses 15, 42, 78, 100 and RV1 also stop nearby.
The Tower of London is open daily. Tuesday to Saturday, 9am-4:30pm (to 5:30pm Mar-Oct) and Sunday/Monday, 10am-4:30pm (to 5:30pm Mar-Oct). Closed 24-26 Dec and 1 Jan. Last entry is 1 hour before closing. Entry costs £17 for adults, £9.50 for ages 5-16 and £14.50 for full time students and over 60s with valid ID. Family/group rates available. Discount for booking online.
The Tower of London is very centrally located and there are numerous cafes/shops nearby. Parking is very restricted and it is within London’s Congestion Charge zone.
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