The Tower of London is one of the most famous buildings in London. A 900-year-old castle and fortress in central London that is notable for housing the crown jewels and for holding many famous and infamous prisoners, from deposed monarchs to more common criminals.
The history of torture at the Tower of London is a popular subject; however many of the prisoners, particularly those of noble birth, were treated well. In some cases, they were even allowed to have servants at the tower and leave the castle at times. In the late 18th and 19th centuries, the tower was used less commonly for prisoners. The last prisoner of note to spend time in the tower was Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy, who fled to Scotland in 1941 and was sent to the tower briefly until he was transferred.
Throughout its history, the tower has served many purposes: it housed the royal mint (until the early 19th century), a menagerie (which left in 1835), a records office, an armoury and barracks for troops. Until the 17th century, it was also used as a royal residence.
Today, the crown jewels are one of the most popular attractions at the Tower of London. The jewels include the crowns worn by the monarch at coronation and at the opening of Parliament.
0844 482 7777
Tuesday to Saturday 9 a.m. – 5.30 p.m.
Sunday to Monday 10 a.m. – 5.30 p.m.