It’s the central building of the Tower of London, its dungeon. It was the first built in 1078 by William the Conqueror in order to control both the Thames and the city of London.
The Tower is composed by four floors : the ground floor was used as a cellar, the others were used by officers (the top floor was not built until the XVIth century). Moreover, a chapel passes through all the floors and takes all the South-East corner of the Tower.
The Royal Chapel
The St Peter Ad Vincula Royal Chapel was built around 1100 but the building burnt in 1512, so the current church dates from 1519.
The Chapel is best known for the famous prisoners buried in the chapel’s cemetery. A lot of ministers, queens, rebels (Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl of Essex, Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey, James Scott 1st Duke of Monmouth) who have bore the wrath of the king of that time.
The Waterloo Barracks
The barracks, built in 1845, is the biggest building of the Tower. Originally, it could host a garrison of more than 800 soldiers but since 1967, it is the home of The Crown Jewels.
The decision to build the barracks was made after a fire that destroyed a part of the internal building of the surrounding wall of the Tower and the growing need of room for the soldiers.
The Ceremony of the Keys
Every evening, Yeomen Warders (or Beefeaters), famous guards of the Tower in their black and red suits, take part in the same ceremony : the chief of the guards armed with the queen’s keys and a lantern followed by his escort is heading to the Fortress’s door.
On the way, every guards have to welcome their chief. Then the troup lock every door of the Tower one by one. At the end of the ceremony, at 10:05pm presice, every visitors must leave the Tower by a little door cut in the main door.
The Crown Jewels
The name “Crown Jewels” designates the set of clothes and ornaments weared by the english sovereign during his coronation ceremony. It’s composed of : crown, sword, scepter, globes… along with a ceremonial robe.
All these objects come from before the 16th century, because from this period the English Reformation separated the English Church from the direction of the Vatican. The ceremonial tunic, for example, is very similar to the outfits worn by the archbishops.
The Constable Tower
The Constable Tower is, like the Devereux Tower, one of the towers of the first fortification of the London Tower. This tower takes its name from the "constables" who are the commanders and the persons in charge of the place (in this case the Constable Tower).
The constable was designated by the king because he had an important role: to maintain and defend the fortress. The first constable of the London Tower was close to William the Conqueror and the following were from the same family. Like the Bowyer Tower or the Brick Tower, the Constable Tower is D-shaped.
The Salt Tower
The Tower was built in 1230 during the reign of Henry III. Its name comes from the salt (very precious at the time) that was stored in the tower.
The Tower hosted several famous prisoners such as the King of Scotland John Balliol from 1299 until his death in 1313, or even Giovanni Battista Castiglione an Italian who came to carry letters to Princess Elizabeth.
The Bowyer Tower
The Bowyer Tower was built during the reign of King Henry III between 1238 and 1241. It’s located to the north of the Tower of London and is D-shaped. The bedroom on the ground floor is the original piece of this tower because it is the only one that survived following the fire on the night of October 30, 1841 that destroyed the top of the tower.
The room was used to store weapons and for domestic purposes. It has two stone cabinets and is next to the entrance of a turret staircase with a wardrobe below.
The Brick Tower
The Brick Tower is on the north side of the Tower of London. It is made of squared stones. Like the Bowyer Tower, this tower is D-shaped. On the fortress side, the wall is flat while the outer side is circular: a shape that favors the position of the archers.
This tower is simple: it has small windows but the top of the tower is crenellated which provides important protection in the medieval fortifications.
The Cradle Tower
The Cradle Tower was built by Edward III. It is on the South side, along the bank, on the outer wall of the Tower of London. It was used to join the King's quarters in the Lanthorn Tower.
It is in the form of a rectangular block which has a passage on the ground floor crossing the rampart. Upstairs there are housing including two rooms of protection. The Cradle Tower was used as a prison: in 1599, two prisoners escaped from the tower: Father John Gerard and John Arden.
The Martin Tower
The Martin Tower is on the North side, on the first fortification of the Tower of London. It is precisely at the Northeast corner. The Martin Tower is a group of buildings nested within each other.
The medieval tower is made of unsized stones joined with mortar but the outer tower is brick. It can be accessed through the walkway. The Martin Tower is special because it has hosted for a few hundred years the Jewels of the crown since the room of jewels that was used as storage was destroyed in 1666.
The Devereux Tower
The Devereux Tower is one of the towers of the first fortification of the London Tower. It is opposite to the Martin Tower, that is to the north-west side.
This tower refers to Earl of Essex, Robert Devereux, the most famous prisoner of the tower. He was disgraced in 1600 after conspiracy and was beheaded in the Tower of London for treason by Queen Elizabeth I.
The Lanthorn Tower
Built between 1238 and 1272, it was commissioned by Henry III. It is one of many towers that were built at that time, towers serving as a defense for the white tower that was given a rampart.
She served as a royal apartment for the Queen, while the King resided at the Wakefield Tower. The tower suffered a fire in 1774, it was largely destroyed. It was in 1851, that it was restored by an architect of the Victorian period.
The Traitor's Gate
The Traitor's Gate is the second entrance to the Tower of London, the one no one wanted to cross. It is a maritime entrance, so it can only be used by boat. It was built between 1275 and 1279.
As the Tower of London became more and more a prison for state enemies, it acquired its name because of the number of prisoners accused of treason who passed through.
The Beauchamp Tower
The Beauchamp tower is part of the defensive interior wall, it was built between 1275 and 1281 by King Edward I, namely close to the end of the first modernization of the Tower of London.
She has replaced a twin house on site, a house built by his father, King Henry III. This tower was named after its first prisoner, Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick (in 1397).
The Flint Tower
The Flint Tower is the second tower of defense on the first fortification of the Tower of London. It is next to Devereux Tower, which is the corner, and it is oriented North side. It is relatively low, it’s a cylindrical tower about 8m in diameter, with loopholes on the lower part and rectangular windows on the upper part.
It was built like the other towers of this fortification between 1238 and 1272, during the first renovation campaign of the Tower of London, under Henry III.
The Headquarters of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers with Regimental Museum
The Headquarters of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers is one of the buildings still military in the London Tower. It is however visitable and has a museum that makes it mainly tourist. The building itself is in a neo-medieval style identical to the Waterloo Barracks.
The museum tells the story of the Queen's Infantry Regiment which was created at the Tower of London in 1685. The history of this infantry corps, from its formation to the present day through the testimony of officers and soldiers, their personal experiences, in the form of letters or pieces visible in various collections.
The Wakefield Tower
Originally called Blundeville Tower, the Wakefield Tower was built from 1220 during the first wave of modifications to the Tower of London. It was at this time that King Henry III built the wall that is now inside the complex, and along which was built a series of defensive towers or dwelling.
It served as apartments for the king. This is one of the tallest tower in the Tower of London.
The Bloody Tower
The Bloody Tower is one of the constructions begun under Henry III between 1238 and 1272, during the first wave of modifications of the Tower of London. It took the nickname of bloody tower following the murder of the two princes Edward V and his young brother Richard, Duke of York.
The Legge's Mount
The Legge’s Mount is part of the second belt of the Tower of London, the one overlooking the outside. It was intended to strengthen the defenses of the fortress by adding firepower with cannons.
What marks the most on this tower are the typical openings for cannons, bevelled. But it also had a roof with battlements of artillery, it mean that the roof also hosted guns. This tower had, moreover, three loopholes oriented according to three different angles.
The Brass Mount
The Brass Mount is located at the northeast corner of this fortress, it’s an artillery tower. It was intended to strengthen the defenses of the fortress by adding firepower by cannon. Mount Brass is part of the second belt of the Tower of London, the one overlooking the outside.
Unlike Mount Legge, this tower could accommodate guns only on the roof, there were no openings in the walls. On the other hand, it had many loopholes oriented at different angles.