Resources to use at the Tower
Resources to use in the classroom
Trails - Key Stage 2
Guidelines for teachers (DOC, 43KB)
These trails are intended for the use of teachers and accompanying adults working with small groups of Key Stage 2 pupils. They include directions, suggestions for things for pupils to look for, think about and imagine, as well as some additional information to help answer some questions pupils may have. The trails are worded so that they can be read aloud directly to pupils. Each trail follows a different route within the Tower of London and explores different buildings.
To print out the trail in booklet form, select double-sided and set the pages to flip up.
Henry VIII at the Tower (PDF, 1.91 MB)
The Tower of London was already 400 years old when Henry VIII was born. He made various changes including repairing the walls and towers of the castle, and modernising and refurbishing the medieval palace. The Tower is closely linked with the fate of two of his queens, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.
The King's Castle (PDF, 899KB)
William the Conqueror began to build the Tower of London over 900 years ago. He intended the stone fortress to be invincible and a symbol of his power. Over the next 400 years, up until the Tudors came to the throne, the Tower was updated and expanded by the medieval kings.
Tudor and Elizabethan prisoners (PDF 1.78MB)
The Tower of London was built as fortress, not a prison. It does not have cells or dungeons. However, because it was so secure it was used to house important prisoners from its earliest years. In Tudor and Elizabethan times it was mainly used for very high status prisoners or those accused of political crimes.
The Tudor Tower (PDF 1.87MB)
Henry VIII stayed in the Royal Palace at the Tower the night before his coronation and before Anne Boleyn’s coronation. He rarely, if ever, stayed here again but, like the Kings of England before him, he used the Tower for lots of other purposes.
Quest (PDF 1.03MB)
This activity has been designed to allow small groups of pupils to explore and research particular aspects of the Tower of London’s history, development and present use, and to record their observations using digital cameras.
Briefing notes - Key Stage 2
Backgrounders exploring specific subjects at the Tower for Key Stage 2.
Imprisonment and Execution (PDF 360KB)
For Key Stage 2 teachers this backgrounder looks at the Tower as a prison and execution ground under Henry VIII (1509-47).
Tudor Tower: Functions of the Tower of London (PDF 178KB)
Mint, palace, fortress, execution ground, state prison. These notes look at the functions of the Tower under Henry VIII and support Key Stage 2 History Unit 7.
Briefing notes - Key Stage 3-4
Key characters and chronologies for our sessions at the Tower of London.
What is history: chronology (PDF, 57.3KB)
For KS3 teachers this quick chronology gives the key events in the Tower’s history.
What is history: artefacts (PDF, 670KB)
For KS3 teachers, detailed information on the Tower of London artefacts handled in the What is history? session.
Who killed the princes in the Tower: chronology (PDF, 55.9KB)
For KS3 teachers this quick chronology gives the key dates in the lead up to the disappearance of the princes in the Tower.
Who killed the princes in the Tower: characters (PDF, 1.06MB)
For KS3 teachers here are the key characters relating to the princes in the Tower.
Imprisonment, execution and escape: Elizabethan religious upheaval: chronology (PDF, 29.2KB)
For KS3 teachers, detailed information on the chronology of Tudor religion.
Imprisonment, execution and escape: Elizabethan religious upheaval: characters (PDF, 1.33MB)
For KS3 teachers, here are the key characters in Tudor religious upheaval.
Imprisonment, execution and escape: Elizabethan religious upheaval: family tree (PDF, 2.95MB)
A useful Tudor family tree for the reign of Elizabeth I.
Tower power: the Norman conquest: chronology (PDF, 53.5KB)
For KS3 teachers, a timeline of the Norman Tower of London.
Tower power: the Norman conquest: characters (PDF, 753KB)
For KS3 teachers, they key characters related to the Norman Tower.
Espionage! WWI and the Tower: chronology (PDF, 55.4KB)
For KS3 teachers, a timeline of the Tower during the First World War.
Espionage! WWI and the Tower: characters (PDF, 569KB)
For KS3 teachers, key characters at the Tower during the First World War.
Jewel in the Crown: Empire and India: chronology (PDF, 32.6KB)
For KS3 teachers, a timeline of the journey of the Koh-i-Nûr diamond’s journey from India to the Tower of London.
Jewel in the Crown: Empire and India: characters (PDF, 651KB)
For KS3 teachers, key characters who have owned or been involved in the Koh-i-Nûr diamond’s journey from India to the Tower of London
Jewel in the Crown: Empire and India: activities for the classroom (PDF, 1.16MB)
For KS3 teachers, some discussion points and activities related to the Koh-i-Nûr diamond.
Jewel in the Crown: Empire and India: sources (PDF, 1.72MB)
For KS3 teachers, a book of primary sources relating to the Koh-i-Nûr diamond and it’s journey from Mughal India to the Tower of London via the British Empire.
For KS3 and KS4 teachers, a really useful timeline of the Tower of London from its Norman roots to 20th century history.
For KS3 and KS4 teachers, detailed information on the Tower of London artefacts handled in the You are here session.
For KS3 and KS4 teachers, the key characters related to the Tower of London from its Norman foundations to the 20th century.
A classroom activity and resource to discuss the role of the Tower and its various functions over time.
Teaching on site - Key Stage 2-3
Pupil and teacher notes for self-guided school visits at Key Stage 2 and 3.
Henry VIII at the Tower of London (PDF 852KB)
A Key Stage 2 resource for teachers integrating a visit to the Tower into Unit 7 'Why did Henry VIII marry six times?'
The Medieval Tower (PDF 1.1MB)
For Key Stage 3 history this resource guides teachers around key sites for studying the medieval Tower of London.
History of the Royal Mint at the Tower of London (PDF 4.3MB)
For Key Stage 2 and 3 history this resource introduces all of the major events and stories relating to the Mint and the history of the nation's coinage.
For an introduction to the Tower of London, including where to go when you arrive and an overview of the key people you will meet during your visit, watch our schools introduction video.
Useful information we send out to teachers after they've confirmed a visit.
Planning a visit: A teacher's guide (PDF 2.95MB)
Health and safety information pack (PDF 47 KB)
This pack includes a risk assessment of the Tower of London.
Share your experience
Please email us your feedback at email@example.com. All feedback is much appreciated and enables us to tailor the trails to better suit the needs of school groups.
We also welcome feedback from your class on their visit to the Tower of London. If you would like to send us a letter, or examples of the children’s work, please write to us at:
Learning & Engagement
HM Tower of London
Alternatively, you can email comments and examples of work to the email address above for us to add to our blog: http://learningblog.hrp.org.uk/
Colourful, quick-reference guides related to the Tower.
Henry VIII and his six wives (PDF 175KB)
A colourful factsheet about the king, his six wives and their relationships.
The Tudor Dynasty (PDF 127KB)
A family tree of the royal Tudors
Timeline: Tower of London (PDF 154KB)
Significant moments and events in the fortress's history from 1066-1554.
These presentations are for use in the classroom. They are an ideal way of introducing an element of the site and its history before your visit. Download the .zip file to access the presentation as PDF or PowerPoint.
The story of the Tower (ZIP 14.5MB)
Understanding the Tower (ZIP 6.75MB)
Did you know (ZIP 6.3MB)
Symbols (ZIP 5.33MB)
Great for planning your visit. Your short guide to the history of the Tower of London including what to see and frequently asked questions.
History at the Tower >
Sir Thomas More >
Lady Margaret Pole >
The Queens favorite >
A King and a Rebel >
Alice Tankerville >
Watch videos on the Tower of London and the temporary exhibition, Fit for a King >
Fernando Buschmann >
Colonel Thomas Blood >
Sir Francis Burdett >
Josef Jacobs >
Sir Charles Brandon >
Listen to more podcasts on our iTunesU channel >
Virtual tour - Young Henry VIII exhibition
Prepare your pupils before your visit using this virtual tour which allows you to zoom in on paintings, maps and room details. The rooms which house the exhibition are believed to be part of Wolsey's private rooms when he owned the palace, and are magnificent in themselves.
Henry VIII morph
See how Henry changed physically from the young man who came to the throne in 1509 to the older, larger man who is so recognisable today.
Have a go jousting against some of the champions of Henry’s court, or against your friends in this fun game.
Post visit resources (PDF 638KB)
This resource suggests activities for building on your pupils' learning following your visit.
The animated tutorial and teacher's notes demonstrates and takes you through the process of combining information, both factual and imagined, to create a story.
It took craftsmen many hours to make royal helmets, but with our help you can make an amazing helmet in much less time!
Coins and kings
The presentations below all relate to our Coins and kings exhibition which explores the history of the Mint from 1279–1812.
The topics cover a range of curriculum areas including history, art and design and English, and can be used before or after a visit to the site. Each PowerPoint presentation is accompanied by a set of teachers' notes which also include activity sheets.
The resources were developed in partnership with the Royal Mint Museum, the independent charity and museum which looks after the collection and archives of the Royal Mint.
KS2 – Minted! Making the nation’s coins: pre-visit (ZIP 4.2MB)
KS2 – Faking it! (art and design) (ZIP 6.5MB)
KS2 – Life in the Tudor Mint (ZIP 9.2MB)
KS2 – Stories from the Mint (ZIP 9.2MB)
KS2 – Story Builder (ZIP 6.7MB)
KS3 – Monarchs and the Mint: Making the nation’s coins: pre-visit (ZIP 6.1MB)
KS3 – Edward I and the Mint (ZIP 3.6MB)
KS3 – Elizabeth I and the Mint (ZIP 2.5MB)
KS3 – Kings on Coins (ZIP 9MB)
KS2 – Minted! Making the nation’s coins: pre-visit (PDF 1.2MB)
KS2 – Faking it! (art and design) (PDF 1.5MB)
KS2 – Life in the Tudor Mint (PDF 1.4MB)
KS2 – Stories from the Mint (PDF 1.8MB)
KS3 – Monarchs and the Mint: Making the nation’s coins: pre-visit (PDF 1.4MB)
KS3 – Edward I and the Mint (PDF 486KB)
KS3 – Elizabeth I and the Mint (PDF 511KB)
KS3 – Kings on Coins (PDF 1.1MB)
KS3 – Civil Wars (2.4MB)