This article is about a World Heritage Site

Tower of London

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Tower of London
The Tower of London, seen from the River Thames, with a view of the water-gate called "Traitors' Gate"
The Tower of London, seen from the River Thames, with a view of the water-gate called "Traitors' Gate"
LocationLondon Borough of Tower Hamlets
London, EC3
AreaCastle: 12 acres (4.9 ha)
Tower Liberties: 6 acres (2.4 ha)
Height27 metres (89 ft)
BuiltWhite Tower: 1078
Inner Ward: 1190s
Re-built: 1285
Wharf expansion: 1377–1399
Visitation2,741,126 (in 2016)[1]
TypeCultural
Criteriaii, iv
Designated1988 (12th session)
Reference No.488
CountryUnited Kingdom
RegionEurope and North America
Listed Building – Grade I
Listed Building – Grade II

The Tower of London is an ancient Norman stone fortress in London, England. It stands on the bank of the River Thames, in the oldest part of the city.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[2]

History[change | change source]

The fortress was built by William the Conqueror, King William I, starting in 1078. The moat was built by Richard I, using water diverted from the River Thames.

The Tower had many uses. Its main function was to protect Norman rule in the years after the conquest. It was a prison, and a place of execution. Today, the Crown Jewels are kept there. This is the collection of jewels owned by the British state, and sometimes worn by the monarch. There is also a museum of armour.

Only the most important people were executed (by axe) inside the Tower of London. Among the most famous were:


The Tower of London has a collection of ravens, large black birds of the Crow family. They are taken care of by the staff who work there. The ravens' wing feathers are kept short so they cannot fly away. This is because a legend (story) says that if the ravens leave the Tower, the Tower and the Kingdom will fall.

The closest Underground station to the Tower of London is Tower Hill.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Visits made in 2016 to visitor attractions in membership with ALVA". Association of Leading Visitor Attractions. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  2. UNESCO, "Tower of London"; retrieved 2012-4-19.

Other websites[change | change source]

Coordinates: 51°30′29″N 0°04′34″E / 51.50806°N 0.07611°E / 51.50806; 0.07611