Yeoman Warders

Yeoman Warders


Iconic, enduring, entertaining; just don’t call them ‘Beefeaters’. You'll find them standing guard and giving tours at the Tower of London.

Yeoman Warder guided tours

A Yeoman Warder tour is one of the most popular attractions for visitors to the Tower. Join one of these famous tours where Yeoman Warders (popularly known as ‘Beefeaters’) will entertain you with tales of intrigue, imprisonment, execution, torture and much more…

The tours begin every 30 mins (last tour 15.30 in summer, 14.30 in winter). Tours last approximately 60 mins and start near the main entrance.

Included in palace admission ticket.

Guarding the Tower

The ‘Beefeaters’, as they are nicknamed, have long been symbols of London and Britain. It is thought their nickname is derived from their position in the Royal Bodyguard, which permitted them to eat as much beef as they wanted from the king's table.

They are a detachment of the ‘Yeomen of the Guard’, and they’ve formed the Royal Bodyguard since at least 1509. Their origins stretch back as far as the reign of Edward IV (1461-83).

The warders today

Yeoman Warders are required to have served in the armed forces with an honourable record for at least 22 years. The current contingent of warders have experienced serving in Northern Ireland, the Falklands War, Bosnia, the first and second Gulf conflicts and in Afghanistan. They are happy to answer your questions about the Tower and are some of the most photographed guards in London!

Historic warders

Today's well-behaved and salaried yeomen warders would no doubt be shocked by the complaint of Sir John Peyton, the Lieutenant of the Tower in 1598, when he declared that some were ‘given to drunkeness, disorders and quarrels’.

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