Royal Armouries

Institutions of the Tower

The Tower of London has been home to many important national institutions for over 900 years. Close to the seat of royal power at Westminster, the fortress offered a secure site for a variety of functions vital to England’s monarchy.

Competition for space and power grew as the number of institutions expanded and their employees increased. While some organisations moved out and other functions ceased, many operated for hundreds of years, making the Tower England’s ultimate power house.

Constables

Ordnance Office

Royal Observatory

The Royal Mint

Prison

Jewel House

Records Office

Menagerie

Ordnance Survey

Royal Armouries

Did you know?

Thunder birds are go!

Artillery pieces before about 1700 were often classified by names. A rare type of very big gun was known as a basilisk, a more common long powerful gun was known as a culverin while smaller versions were named after birds of prey such as saker and falcon.