White Tower

Almost 1,000 years old and right at the heart of the Tower of London.

Almost 1,000 years old and right at the heart of the Tower of London.

When

  • Open daily

Ticketing information

Included in palace admission Buy Tower of London tickets

Britain's most famous castle

Instantly recognisable, the White Tower is the most famous castle keep in the world. It was built to awe, subdue and terrify Londoners, and to deter foreign invaders. It is an iconic symbol of London and Britain.

Along with the rest of the Tower fortress, the White Tower is part of a World Heritage Site. Inside is a unique Romanesque chapel, the beautiful 11th-century Chapel of St John the Evangelist.

Home of the Royal Armouries

The White Tower showcases the historic and world-class Royal Armouries collections, including the 350-year-old exhibition, Line of Kings, as well as other treasures.

There are many unique and extraordinary arms and and armours on display, including the magnificent royal armours of Henry VIII, Charles I and James II.

White Tower tours

Enjoy a tour led by one of our expert warders. Find out about the exquisite Chapel Royal of St John and hear all about Henry VIII's famous armours.

Find out more about White Tower tours
Photograph of the Tower Warder speaking to visitors
The White Tower detail, looking south. The focus of this image is on the first floor arches. 

The White Tower was begun in the reign of William the Conqueror (1066-87) and completed by 1100. The fortress was originally faced with huge blocks of pale marble-like Caen stone imported from Normandy. In 1636-8 the external appearance of the White Tower was significantly altered with the replacement of much of its cut-stone work and window surrounds with Portland stone. 

The primary role of the White Tower was as a fortress and stronghold but it also served as a royal residence and as the setting for major governmental and ceremonial functions.

Torture at the Tower

On the top floor of the White Tower you will find Torture at the Tower with an original executioner's block of the 18th century, with an axe that possibly dates back to Tudor times. They were once incorrectly labelled as the implements used to behead Anne Boleyn. However, she was actually executed by sword.

It is now believed that the block and axe were used at the last public beheading on Tower Hill in 1747. The basement of the White Tower is traditionally thought to be the site of the torture and interrogation of prisoners such as Guy Fawkes and the Jesuit Priest John Gerard.

A Tower of London warder looks into a Charles II coin display at the Royal Mint
Things to see

Discover the people and stories behind the Royal Mint at the Tower of London through hands-on displays and installations.

Open daily

Tower of London

A woman and child interact with an armoury exhibit in Armoury in Action within the White Tower of the Tower of London
Families Things to see

Shoot arrows, assemble firearms and brandish a sword in this exciting, hands-on experience in the White Tower.

Open daily

Tower of London

A Tower of London warden speaks to a visitor in the White Tower
Tours and talks

Explore the beautiful Chapel of St John the Evangelist and hear tales of famous old residents at the Tower with an expert warden.

Daily

Tower of London

10:45, 12:45 and 14:15

Official Tower of London guidebook shows the many faces of the Tower from menagerie and jewel house to fortress and prison.

Official Tower of London guidebook

Official Tower of London guidebook shows the many faces of the Tower from menagerie and jewel house to fortress and prison.

£4.99

Featuring a sculpted designed of the Tower of London and an axe-shaped handle, this novelty mug makes a great gift.

Tower of London mug

Featuring a sculpted designed of the Tower of London and an axe-shaped handle, this novelty mug makes a great gift.

£10.99

Prisoners of the Tower uncovers the unpublished the history of the Tower of London as a place of torture and state prison.

Prisoners of the Tower

Prisoners of the Tower uncovers the unpublished the history of the Tower of London as a place of torture and state prison.

£8.99