Royal Armouries

Ordnance Office

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Weapons were manufactured and stored at the Tower from at least the 13th century. In the 14th century the manufacture, purchase, storage and supply of arms and artillery were organised by the Privy Wardrobe. By the late 17th century these functions had been assumed by the Board of Ordnance.

Historic weapons had also become a visitor attraction. Artillery, weapons, and other trophies were displayed in the Grand Storehouse built in 1693. The outbreak of the Crimean War in 1853 exposed the weaknesses of the military organisation at the Tower. The Board was abolished in 1855 and the remaining stores at the Tower of London now form part of the collections of the Royal Armouries Museum.