Update 14 December: In line with government guidance, the Tower of London will be closed from 16 December.
Explore the Tower of London's reputation as a formidable fortress with displays along the impenetrable defences.Imagine what it was like to be part of the medieval garrison defending the Tower as you stand beside life-size metalwork soldiers and their weapons.
Peer through the gate and imagine what it was like to be a medieval soldier working in this cramped but beautiful space.
In 1381, a rabble of peasants managed to successfully attack the Tower in the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 — this was one of many battles at the Tower of London.
However, the Tower of London's role as a formidable fortress isn't just about the past. The Tower remains a working fortress today, with a strong military presence.
You will see soldiers guarding the Jewel House and Queen’s House, as well as the famous Yeoman Warders (or 'Beefeaters') who have been guarding the Tower for 500 years.
Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, born 1 May 1769, was one of Britain’s greatest military leaders. He became the Constable of the Tower in 1826. He remained Commander-in-Chief of the British Armed Forces and became Prime Minister twice while serving as Constable at the Tower.
Besides draining the filthy moat, where possible, Wellington adapted the fortress for modern warfare and a more professional army. He closed the Tower pubs in favour of an army canteen and erected purpose-built barracks for 1,000 soldiers with a new officers' mess.
Wellington also demanded the closure of the Royal Menagerie at the Tower and the removal of all the animals following a series of vicious attacks.
Under Wellington's command the number of visitors soared, despite his reservations about public access to a military site.
Wellington dealt with the aftermath of a major fire at the Tower in 1841 and strengthened the ancient fortress at a time of civil unrest, when the government feared that rioting and revolution would spread to London.