Historic Royal Palaces is an independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle.
Their aim is to help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built.
ENTRANCE FEES TO TOWER OF LONDON
The ancient stones reverberate with dark secrets, priceless jewels glint in fortified vaults and ravens strut the grounds. The Tower of London, founded by William the Conqueror in 1066-7, is one of the world’s most famous fortresses yet despite its grim reputation as a place of torture and death, there are so many more stories to be told.
The world famous collection of fabulous finery and regalia – the Crown Jewels housed in a represented Jewel House, fit for the 21st century, from 29 March 2012 explores the importance of the Crown Jewels to the British monarchy, the role of the Tower in protecting these treasures and the long and fascinating tradition of coronations in England. The mystique and beauty of the diamonds and precious jewels in the collection have always held an unparalleled allure to visitors from across the globe. These include the enormous Cullinan I diamond or Star of Africa, found in the Premier Mine in South Africa in 1905.
The displays examine how the royal regalia are used during the Coronation ceremony, and explore the symbolism of each object. The priceless collection holds some of the most legendary and extraordinary diamonds in the world. The Crown Jewels at the Tower of London are a unique working collection of royal regalia and are still regularly used by the Queen in important national ceremonies, such as the State opening of Parliament.
The White Tower
A castle built to strike fear and submission into the unruly citizens of London and deter foreign invaders – today you cannot miss this iconic symbol of London and Britain, overlooking the River Thames. Inside you will find Fit for a King, a journey through 500 years of royal arms and armour. Created for both the battle field and the sporting field displays include Henry VIII’s horse armour, Japanese samurai armour presented to King James I and Prince Charles’ polo helmet and knee pads, the display is a unique timeline from the Royal Armouries collections. Power House is staged in partnership with the Royal Armouries; discover the stories and personalities behind the major organisations of state, who took care of Royal business behind the mighty Tower of London’s walls from 1100 to the present day.
Prisoners of the Tower
Despite its reputation there are no dungeons at the Tower of London and it is doubtful there ever really were. The Tower was rather more exclusive than that, with prisoners from the higher levels of society entitled to be held here. Come and see what life was like imprisoned in the Bloody or Beauchamp Towers. Experience the sights, sounds and inscriptions left from incarceration five hundred years ago.
The Royal Beasts return to the Tower, London’s original zoo! See sculptures of the lions, baboons, an elephant and even a polar bear; discover how they came to be at the Tower and what became of them in a fascinating exhibit in the Brick Tower. Hear the amazing tales of how the animals were fed, watered and housed as well as various unfortunate incidents when the public got a little too close!
Share the secrets of one thousand years of royal gossip and intrigue with a Beefeater, or to give them their proper title ‘Yeoman Warder’. This body of men and now one woman has guarded the fortress for centuries. Take one of their tours and you’ll be amazed and possibly appalled by tales that have been passed down for generations. Pain and passion, treachery and torture, all delivered with their inimitable style!
This is just a taster, there is much more in the Medieval Palace, Bloody Tower, on Tower Green see the Ravens and walk along the ancient walls.
**Reduced opening due to Covid-19:
10/07/20-31/10/20 open WED-SUN only
See Covid-safe measures here: