In the 1070s, William the Conqueror, fresh from his victory but nervous of rebellion, began to build a massive stone fortress in London to defend and proclaim his royal power.
Nothing like it had ever been seen in England before. Since then, the Tower has been adapted and developed to defend and control the nation.
Being a secure castle, the Tower guarded royal possessions and in times of war and rebellion the royal family would live there. For 500 years, monarchs used the Tower as a palace.
Throughout history, the Tower has been a visible symbol of awe and fear. Kings and queens imprisoned their rivals and enemies within its walls and stories of prisoners, rich and poor, haunt the Tower.
Home of the Yeomen Warders and its legendary ravens, the Tower now attracts over three million visitors a year who can see, amongst other things, the Crown Jewels.
Traditions such as the Ceremony of the Keys still live on, as do the ghost stories and terrible tales of torture and execution.
The Tower has a rich and complex history, having been home to a wide array of institutions such as the Royal Mint, the Royal Armouries and even a zoo.