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Fortress

Explore the Tower's defences

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.

Discover The Peasants' Revolt and Other Battles

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 King's House, as well as the famous Yeoman Warders (or 'Beefeaters') who have been guarding the Tower for 500 years.

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Included in palace admission (members go free)

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Wellington's modern fortress

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.

Sculpture of a baboon for 'Royal Beasts' exhibition.

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  • Families
  • Things to see

Armoury in Action

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

  • Open
  • Tower of London
  • Included in palace admission (members go free)
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  • Things to see

Line of Kings

Marvel at the historic armour of Henry VIII, Charles I and James II in the Line of Kings at the White Tower.

  • Open
  • Tower of London
  • Included in palace admission (members go free)
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  • Things to see

Torture at the Tower exhibition

Discover stories of the unfortunate prisoners who were tortured within the walls of the Tower of London.

  • Open
  • Tower of London
  • Included in palace admission (members go free)
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Browse more History and stories

The Princes in the Tower

Murdered or survived – what happened to Edward and his younger brother Richard?

LGBT Royal Histories

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer histories in our palaces

Lady Jane Grey

Known as the ‘Nine Day Queen’, Lady Jane had the shortest reign in British history

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Shop Tower of London gifts

Shop our products inspired by the almost 1000 years of history at the Tower of London.

From £2.50

Shop Raven gifts

Legend has it that if the six ravens ever leave the Tower of London, the Tower and the kingdom will fall. These products have been inspired by the Ravens that live at the Tower of London.

From £3.00

Medieval knights tankard

Medieval knights tankard inspired by the royal arms of England. Featuring intricate dragon detailing this beautifully designed mug has a detailed chain entwined around the handle. Perfect for re-enactments or a gift for someone who loves all things medieval.

£30.00