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Beneath your feet lie the ancient remains of Edward IV's bulwark. In 1480 he paid to construct this huge addition to the castle's defences which was designed to defend against artillery power.
In the 15th century, two rival dynasties fought fo…
Over 400 years, 112 people were executed on Tower Hill watched by crowds of eager spectators. The last execution was in 1747, when many spectators were injured in the crush to watch the beheading of the Scottish rebel Lord Lovat.
The greatest …
Conflict between a commercial need for tall buildings and the public desire to protect the Tower's views began in the 1860s. The multi-storey 'Mazawattee' tea warehouse was built on the edge of Tower Hill, controversially blocking the view
By 1281 Edward I had completed the Tower's formidable new land entrance. Two huge stone gate towers and a semi-circular barbican (now demolished) were linked by causeways defended with drawbridges.
These massive fortifications, bristling with …
On 20 February 1547, the 9 year old son of Henry VIII rode out from the Tower in a grand procession. Cheering crowds lined the route to Westminster Abbey where he was crowned Edward VI.
Young Edward VI was following a tradition which lasted fr…
Since the reign of King John (1199-1216) monarchs had kept exotic beasts at the Tower. However, by 1831-2 it had become impractical to keep the menagerie here and it was moved to Regent's Park to establish London Zoo.
The animals were gifts fr…
The Tower was often used as a refuge by kings in trouble and Henry III was no exception. He retreated here in 1238 and, horrified by the castle's out-of-date defences, ordered a mighty fortified gateway built.
The gateway was north of today's …
By 1281 Edward I had swept aside his father Henry III's moat and entrance and replaced them with new, more sophisticated versions. He ringed Henry III's outer wall with another, making the Tower a concentric castle.
Begun in 1275, the moat was…
By the 18th century the view of the castle was very different. Towers were heightened with brick, and gun platforms were added, bristling with cannon. Rooftops of houses, storehouses and workshops peeped over the outer walls.
The Tower was hom…
Historic Royal Palaces
This Plaque Commemorates the Reopening of
As a Place for Public Enjoyment by
Her Majesty The Queen
9 July 2004
The Project Was Supported By
The Heritage Lottery Fund
The Pool of London Partnership