William the Conqueror
establishes the Tower to keep hostile Londoners at bay.
Work on the White Tower is under way.
Ranulf Flambard, the first known prisoner at the Tower, makes a daring escape.
Thomas Becket, keeper of the works at the Tower, carries out repairs.
Henry III starts a major expansion of the royal palace.
A polar bear joins the Tower menagerie.
Find out more about the other animals that were held captive at the Tower in our exhibition, Royal Beasts.
View our Royal Beasts slideshow >
Henry III surrenders the Tower to Simon de Montfort.
Edward I builds St Thomas’s Tower and the watergate now known as Traitors' Gate.
John II ‘the Good’ of France lives in great splendour as a prisoner.
Simon of Sudbury, Archbishop of Canterbury, is dragged out of the Tower and murdered on Tower Hill during the Peasants’ Revolt.
Geoffrey Chaucer, clerk of works, oversees completion of Tower Wharf. Chaucer is better known for having written The Canterbury Tales.
The Princes in the Tower disappear, presumed murdered.
Henry VII founds the body of Yeoman Warders
Queen Anne Boleyn is beheaded on Tower Green by a swordsman brought especially from France.
© National Portrait Gallery, London
Lady Jane Grey, the ‘nine days queen’, is executed. Princess Elizabeth, later Elizabeth I, is imprisoned in the Tower.
Guy Fawkes is tortured at the Tower following the failed Gunpowder Plot to assassinate James I and blow up Parliament.
Colonel Blood attempts to steal the Crown Jewels.
The last hanging takes place on Tower Hill.
Duke of Wellington becomes Constable of the Tower and appoints Yeoman Warders based on their exemplary military service.
Tower Menagerie closes. The animals are transferred to the new London Zoo.
Crown Jewels are saved from fire.
Koh-i-noor diamond is presented to Queen Victoria.
East end London gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray are held at the Tower.
The Crown Jewels exhibition
View our Crown Jewels slideshow >
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