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 (members go free)

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 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.

The Imprisonment at the Tower exhibition in the Beauchamp Tower at the Tower of London, showing three arches in the wall, a fireplace on the left hand side and a display case in the centre of the room
Things to see

Learn why people ended up as prisoners in the Tower of London, in the very rooms where some of them were held.

Open daily

Tower of London

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Exterior view of the White Tower and the lawn taken from the south by the Wakefield Tower
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

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Sir Walter Raleigh's Study downstairs in the Bloody Tower at the Tower of London, showing a desk and walls with projections.
Things to see

Explore the stories of the Princes in the Tower and Sir Walter Raleigh in the infamous Bloody Tower.

Open daily

Tower of London

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Tankard, flask and goblet gift selection from Historic Royal Palaces Shop.

Shop goblets & tankards

Discover our decadent range of goblets and tankards inspired by our Historic Royal Palaces. The perfect gift for a medieval fan our goblets are made in a selection of leathers, glass and pewter.

From £17.99

Gift selection of products inspired by the Tower of London from Historic Royal Palaces shop

Shop Tower of London gifts

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

From £9.99

Gift collection of Medieval inspired gifts from Historic Royal Palaces Shop

Shop medieval gifts

Explore one of the most exciting times in history with our high end range of arms and armour and medieval fancy dress.

From £6.99