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?

Too hot to handle

Before the Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum revolver the most powerful handgun in the world was the Mars pistol. It was so powerful that during testing in 1906, the Royal Navy vowed never to fire it again.