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.


Ordnance Office

Royal Observatory

The Royal Mint


Jewel House

Records Office


Ordnance Survey

Royal Armouries

Did you know?

Palmerston's Follies

Fort Nelson is one of the ‘Palmerston Forts’, commissioned in the 1860s by Lord Palmerston, who feared a French attack. By the time they were completed, however, any threat from France disappeared. The forts gained the nickname ‘Palmerston’s follies’.