The Tower of London was extremely important during the Middle Ages. William the Conqueror started building on the site soon after the Norman Conquest, and was often enlarged and modified by subsequent English monarchs, in the Middle Ages and later as well. It served as fortress and arsenal to protect and control the city of London, royal residence, prison, and symbol of royal authority. It had other, miscellaneous functions as well- for example, the Lion tower housed the royal menagerie until 1834.
Though the large Norman keep, called the White Tower, retains many of its original architectural features, the rest has been so enlarged, modified, and restored that it is hard to make generalizations about its architecture. Below is a general map showing some of the main medieval building campaigns. However, since the problem is so complex, it should be used only as a very general indication- if you are interested in the details, please look at some of the works in the bibliography below.
Adapted from the The Tower of London, Ministry of Public Building
and Work London, Her Majesty's Stationary Office, 1967 using a 1821
engraving from John Bayley, The Histories and Antiquities of the Tower
of London with Biographical Anecdotes of Royal and Distinguished Persons.
London: T. Cadell, 1821. Click here to get
the original version of the 1821 map (Note- it is a very large
file and will take a long time to load).
Key showing colors indicating extant structures from various medieval
Pink - William I & II ( 1066-1100)
Purple - Richard I and John (1189-1216)
Green - Henry III (1216-72)
Yellow - Edward I (1273-1307)
Blue - Edward III & Richard II (c. 1350-99)
Turquoise- Henry VIII 1509-47
Bartholomew, James. Inside the Tower : a comprehensive guide / James Bartholomew with additional text by Julia MacKenzie. New York : New Amsterdam, in association with H.M. Tower of London, 1990. LC Call Number: DA687 T7B29 1990
Bell, Walter George. The Tower of London London: Duckworth, 1935 Historic Buildings Series
Brown, R. Allen (Reginald Allen). Tower of London, Greater London / R. Allen Brown and P.E. Curnow.London : H.M.S.O., c1984. LC Call Number: DA687.T7 B76 1984 Butler, Thomas, Sir Her Majesty's tower of London / Sir Thomas Butler. [London : Pitkin Pictorials, c1971] Pride of Britain Series. LC Call Number: DA687.T7 B8 1971 ISBN: 85372024X
Clark, George Thomas. Some particulars concerning the military architecture of the Tower of London. London, 1860
Dixon, William Hepworth. Her majesty's tower / by William Hepworth Dixon London : Bickers, 1885.
Great Britain. Dept. of the Environment. The Tower of London. London : H.M.S.O., 1974. LC Call Number: NA970 .T737 1974
Hammond, Peter.Her Majesty's royal palace and fortress of the Tower of London. London : Department of the Environment, 1991 1987
Hibbert, Christopher. Tower of London, by Christopher Hibbert and the editors of the Newsweek Book Division.New York, Newsweek  LC Call Number DA687.T7 H5
Minney, Rubeigh James. The Tower of London / R.J. Minney. Englewood
Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice-Hall, c1970.
ISBN:0139257683 LC Call Number: DA687.T7 M55 1970
Parnell, Geoffrey. The Tower of London : the official illustrated history London : Merrell Holberton, 2000. ISBN: 1858941067
The Tower of London : its buildings and institutions London : H.M.S.O. [for the] Department of the Environment, 1978 ISBN SBN: 0116703474 :
Wilson, Derek A. The Tower of London / Derek Wilson ; foreword by W.D.M. Raeburn. New York : Dorset, c1989. LC Call Number:DA687.T7 W5 1989
Last updated by:JV Date: 05/00