The White Tower

The White Tower

The White Tower

The stone keep, built on the orders of William the Conqueror as a fortress and palace, now houses part of the collection of the Royal Armouries.

The White Tower is a fortress of enormous proportions, symbolic of William the Conqueror’s fierce suppression of a newly conquered capital. It is the oldest medieval building at the Tower.

Construction began in the 1070s and was probably completed by 1100. Its primary function was to serve as a fortress but it was also designed to provide the king with royal accommodation for his occasional use and to provide the setting for both ceremonial and government functions. However, from the 14th to the 19th century, the White Tower’s main use was as a military storehouse.

Prisoners at this tower

Ranulf Flambard, the Bishop of Durham, was imprisoned here in 1100 by Henry I. Other prisoners include John the Good, a French king imprisoned in 1360, and Charles, Duke of Orleans who was captured at the Battle of Agincourt and imprisoned in 1415.

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