The Tower in context

Reading the historic environment

Reading the historic environment

Updated 2 July. Following government guidance, the Tower of London will be re-opening from 10 July. Please read our visit information

About this session

Key Stage 4 | Subject: History | Topics: Normans, Tudors, Historic Environment | Session Type: Depth study

Can one site chart a thousand years of British History? In this session, students will discover the changing functions and uses of the Tower over time through critical examination of primary source material.

This depth study allows students to examine primary source material, including surviving buildings and historic artefacts, to test how far the changing roles of this iconic site reflect the currents of local and national history.

Learning objectives

Students will:

  • Use the physical remains of the Tower and a range of other primary evidence to consider the varying functions of the Tower across time and their reflection of different periods in its history.
  • Study the specific value of physical primary evidence and how it creates additional debate and contrasting arguments about history.

Exam board links

This session is recommended for those students studying the Historic Environment as part of the OCR B syllabus with the SHP, and particularly the following exam boards:


  • Component Group 2: History Around Us: Historic Environment.


  • Component Group 2: Castles: Form and Function c.1000–1750.


  • Paper 2: Shaping the Nation, Section B: British Depth Studies (Historic Environment).

Booking information

Monday, Tuesday
2.5 hours
Up to 70 students
1-35 pupils: £190 plus admission

36-70 pupils: £380 plus admission

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Session notes for teachers

Key information for your school visit to the Tower of London.

Download session notes for teachers