The Tower of London :: Visitors' Map of London :: A-Z Maps

The Tower of London

First built by William the Conqueror to both protect and control the City of London, it has continually been added to over the centuries, and, during its history has served as Fortress, Royal Palace, and Prison, it has housed the Royal Mint, Public Records, Royal Observatory, Ordnance Survey and the Royal Menagerie (predecessor of London Zoo). Occupied as a Royal Palace until the reign of James I, and up to the time of Charles II, it served as traditional lodging to the monarch before a processional ride through the City to Westminster Abbey and the Coronation ceremony.

It is the most perfect example of a medieval castle in England, though the outer walls were added later. The central 'White Tower' contains besides displays of royal armour, firearms and execution relics, the finest early Norman chapel in this country - the Royal Chapel of St John. Elsewhere are the famous Crown Jewels, the Royal Chapel of St Peter ad Vincular with its Royal graves, the Royal Fusiliers Museum and the Bloody Tower, built by Henry III as a water gate opening directly onto the Thames. Famous prisoners of the Tower include Archbishop Cranmer and Sir Walter Raleigh and by tradition the two ‘Princes in the Tower' were murdered here in 1483.

Admission Charge. To book tickets advance, telephone 0844 482 7799.

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