The Tower of London

Discover hidden masterpieces and moving stories from London's most infamous site.

In collaboration with

Historic Royal Palaces
Who built the White Tower?
Clue: They were victorious at the battle of Hastings
William the Conqueror
William the Conqueror

The 'Nine Day Queen'

Meet one of England's most famous Queens

Mourning figure

Two women attendents weep as they learn of Jane's imminent death.

John Feckenham

It is believed this figure is John Feckenham, confessor to Mary I, and he may have been trying to convert Jane to catholicism and save her life

Lady Jane Grey

Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed queen on the death of Edward VI in July 1553. Jane's 'reign' lasted only nine days before she was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London by the more powerful backers of Mary, crowned as Mary I in October. Jane's youth spared her life until her father's involvement in a failed rebellion and she was executed in February 1554 aged only 17.

Lady Jane Grey

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History & Myth

How 19th-century art has shaped our views of people and events in royal history

Six sights you mustn't miss

Explore some of the iconic sites at the Tower of London

London's secret angel

Discover one of London's rarest artworks

John the Baptist

The first figure on the left is Saint John the Baptist, who is pointing at the tiny Lamb. St John was a patron saint of Richard II and had a special significance for the King

The Virgin Mary

In the centre is the Virgin Mary which would have flanked a lost depiction of the Christ on the Cross.

John the Evangelist

Here is Saint John the Evangelist, also a part of this 'Crucifixion' scene.

The Byward Angel

St Michael the Archangel holds a giant set of gold scales to weigh the souls of the dead. Christians believe this will take place at the Last Judgement to determine who will go to heaven or hell.

The Tudor Rose

A wall painting with a Tudor rose, half of which still survives, is painted on the chimney breast.

Explore the Byward Angel

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Which Archangel is the 'Byward Angel'?
Clue: A very famous sculptor ____angelo has the same name
Michael
Surviving part of The Crucifixion, known as 'The Byward Angel'

Shakespeare's tower

Discover how Shakespeare's Richard III influenced the history of the Tower

The Tower on canvas

A view of the Tower of London from the south, over the River Thames, showing distant figures on the Tower wharf, and a large British naval frigate with other boats on the river.

A London icon

By this time, the interior of the fortress and the eastern end of the wharf, had been progressively filled by industrial, storage, administrative and barracks buildings, and had become the home of various institutions including the Royal Mint, Royal Armouries, Board of Ordnance, Jewel House, Royal Observatory and Tower Record Office.

A lively area

The main riverside buildings of the Tower at this date can be identified (from west to east): the Byward Tower, Queen's Stairs, Queen's House, St Thomas's Tower and Traitors' Gate, and the Lanthorn, Cradle, Well and Develin Towers.

View of The Tower of London from the Thames

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A monument on paper

These prints tell the story of the Tower's development

The Gunpowder Plot

This monument in the Council Chamber of the King’s House at the Tower of London is a unique reminder of one of the most notorious events in British history; the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

A unique work

Made of pink and black marbles and alabaster, this monument appears, at first glance, to be a fireplace overmantel or a funerary monument. It is, of course, neither but the unnamed stonemason who made it had no other precedent to follow for designing such a unique monument.

Praising the King

In the oval panels Latin texts praise the King and his family, extoll the virtues of the Privy Councillors who foiled the Plot, and condemn the wickedness of the plotters, whose names are listed.

Protestant opposition

A passage in Hebrew in the lower left oval quotes the Old Testament; 'He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death' (Job xii.22). The choice to use Hebrew, the original language of the Old Testament, for this particularly apt text is a reflection of Protestant opposition to the Latin translations used in the Roman Catholic church.

A thwarted plot

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