Traduire en français Translate in english

Chronology of the tower of London


Understanding the history of the Tower of London as a whole requires a thorough study of this fortress, as well as the historical context linked to England since the end of the first millennium. The list below gives the main dates of the changes made to the Tower of London over its history, from its construction to the present day. And it begins in the eleventh century, under William the Conqueror.

See also: History of the tower of London


The Tower of London was built by William the Conqueror in 1078. Far from being left untouched, his successors made numerous additions, making the fortress in the state we know it today. Thus Guillaume le Roux added a thick wall to him in 1097, while Richard I in 1190 ordered the Bishop of Ely to improve the fortifications and surround them with an outside ditch. Henry III, in 1240, added a stone door, a rampart, and other constructions, especially to the west, at the front door. Edward I and other princes extended the fortifications


The original dungeon (XIth-XIIth centuries)

End 1066 : Beginning of construction of a castle

1078 : Beginning of construction of the white tower under William the Conqueror

1097 : Construction of the first rampart around the white tower, replacing a palisade.

1100 : Beginning of prison use

XIIth century : Addition of a building south of the white tower under Henry II (destroyed since)

1170 : Construction of the 1st royal apartments in the inner courtyard

1189-1199 : Construction of the intermediate rampart under Richard 1er

1190 : Digging of moats

1191 : 1est attack of the tower of London


Major works of Henry III and Edward Ith (XIIIth centuries)

1220 : First works of embellishment of the royal apartments

1220 : Filling of the ditch surrounding the original rampart

1220 : Construction of a kitchen in the inner courtyard

1220 : Construction of Wakefield and Lanthorn towers begins

1230 : Second works of embellishment of the royal apartments

1251 : The menagerie welcomes a polar bear

1260 : Collapse of the guardhouse, it will be replaced by the Beauchamp tower

XIIIth century: Continuation of the construction of the intermediate rampart (Wall North and East) under Henry III

End of XIIIth century: Suite de la construction du rempart intermédiaire (Courtine Ouest) sous Edouard Ist

End of XIIIth century: Construction of the chapel St Pierre under Edward Ist

End of XIIIth century: Construction of the outer rampart under Edouard Ist

End of XIIIth century: Construction of the southwest gate and the Lions tower under Edward Ist

End of XIIIth century: Development of the banks of the Thames under Edward Ist

End of XIIIth century: Construction of 2 mills under Edouard Ist

1275-1279 : Construction of the St Thomas tower (on the traitors gate thereafter), under Edouard Ist


The feudal period (XIIIth-XVIth centuries)

1278 : Imprisonment of 600 Jews at the Tower of London, they were accused of trimming

1330 : Création of the royal menagerie

1339-1341 : Construction of the gardehouse batween the towers of the bell and salt.

1348-1355 : Drilling of a second door opening on the river, the Cradle Tower.

1381 : Siege of the Tower of London during the revolt of the peasants. The jewels of the crown are plundered.

XVth century: Addition of the 4th floor of the white tower and the current roof.

1460 : Attack of the Tower of London by the Duke of York.

XVIth century: The southern entrance of the white tower is doomed. It will be reopened in 1973.

1519 : Reconstruction of the chapel St Pierre under Henry VIII.

1532 : Major renovations on the white tower.

1560 : Installation of the royal coin in a building next to the salt tower.


The Tower of London in the face of the progress of artillery (XVIIth-XVIIIth centuries)

1663 : Construction of an arsenal in the inner courtyard.

1666-1676 : Destruction of the buildings of the inner courtyard, the area around the white tower is cleared.

1666-1676 : 1666-1676: Demolition of the house of jewels, the latter are transferred to the tower Martin.

1688 : Beginning construction of stores north of the white tower. (destroyed on October 30, 1841)

1671 : Thomas Blood and accomplices try to steal the jewels of the crown

1774 : Addition of a curtain allowing access of the outer rampart from the quay

XIXth century: Reorganization of the chapel St Pierre

1825 : Construction of the New Horse Armory against the South Face of the White Tower

1828 : Moving the menagerie to Regent's Park

1830 : Dewatering of moats

October 30, 1841: A fire destroys the department store North


The modern age (XIXth-XXth centuries)

1843 : Filling the moat with earth

June 14, 1845: Construction of the Waterloo Barracks and the Officers' Quarter, to the north-east of the Tower (now the fusiliers headquarters)

1843 : Dismantling of the three rectangular towers of the eastern wall.

1851 : Construction of the first ticket office

September 23, 1940: The Tower of London is damaged following the blitz

14 August 1941: Last execution at the Tower of London, that of the German spy Josef Jakobs

1973: Reopening of the South entrance of the white tower (condemned in the sixteenth century)

1988 : Inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List



See also:

Description of the tower of London

History of the tower of London




Copyright 2013 - 2018 - Any reproduction prohibited without the authorization of the author. This website is a private, unofficial site resulting from the compilation work of the works of different authors. Unless otherwise stated, the pictures are free of rights. To distinguish free illustrations from others, see: Documentary sources. Other Internet sites of the same author in other fields: Marguerite Duras, Les Pyrénées Catalanes. Author of the website : See credits.