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?

Is newer better?

The last cast-iron British smoothbore cannon, the 68 pounder, was 8 inches (203 mm), the same calibre as the heaviest guns of King Henry VIII three hundred years earlier. Their performance was probably not very different either!