This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.


List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List entry Number: 1242026



The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Greater London Authority

District: Tower Hamlets

District Type: London Borough


National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: I

Date first listed: 30-Nov-1989

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 206499

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


THE TOWER OF LONDON TQ 3380 21/884 Outer curtain wall with casements and Mural Towers


Outer curtain wall and towers. c.1275-85 for Edward I; south section of wall, including Cradle Tower and Well Tower, built 1348-55 for Edward III; C19 alter- ations and repairs, principally by A Salvin in 1840s and 1860s.

Squared and coursed ragstone with ashlar dressings; lead and copper roofs to towers. Curtain Wall: has some scored quoining to imitate masonry, indicating that it was originally whitewashed; gunports, loops and crenellation reworked in C19; wall between Legge's Mount and North Bastion has two original loops, one set in original round arch; North Bastion refaced 1946-7; to south of Brass Mount is rectangular projection into moat, forming one of 3 (the other two are buried beneath moat and were probably used as platforms for stone-throwing machines; casements to inner sides of curtain walls are mostly mid C19, and to west date from mid C18 with sash windows and doors of mid C18 date.

Towers described clockwise, from Byward Tower to St Thomas's Tower.

Byward Tower, to south-west corner: 1275-85, including late C13 brick to north- east turret and flint to south-east turret; late C18/early C19 brick rebuilding to parapet. Plan of entrance passage flanged by 2-storey cylindrical towers (raised in late C18/early C19) which have 3-storey rectangular turrets to rear. Pointed chamfered arch of 2 orders, followed by portcullis slot, "Meurtrieres" to soffit of rearward arch and early C18 double doors; original and restored loops; C17 musket loops to north; C17 square-headed windows with iron grilles; 2 restored C13 lancets to south tower. Rear elevation has similar entry, C14 trefoil-headed 2-light window and C20 door set in inserted late C15/early C16 Tudor-arched doorway to north turret; braced C16 post to lean-to over entry; two storeys above entry and between turrets are built of mid C16 timber frame, with leaded-lights set in wood-mullioned and transomed windows which include square oriels with moulded bressummers to centre, moulded fascia to second-floor jetty and coved cornice. Interior: entrance passage has C19 studded doors set in pointed-arched doorways; north door leads to square quadripartite-vaulted lobby with blocked doorway, passage to vice and doorway to skewed passage and octagonal shaped ground-floor chamber, with pointed embrasures, restored C13 fireplace with corbelled hood and engaged columns with moulded capitals to springers of chamfered ribbed vault; south door leads to similar vaulted lobby with garderobe to east and similar octagonal-shaped ground-floor chamber with C20 restored vault and fireplace. Caernarvon-arched doorway from north-east vice to first floor: octagonal-shaped chambers to north and south towers, that to north retaining late C13 fireplace with corbelled hood and that to south, entered by C17 prison door, having much altered and restored fireplace; large chamber to centre has C16 port- cullis machinery to west and large room to east, partitioned by early/mid C16 timber-framed screen with mullioned Tudor-arched lights and two Tudor-arched doorways, has C13 tile floor, late C13 chamfered beam painted green with fleurs- de-lis, leopards and heraldic birds (c.1400), and Tudor rose to hood or early/mid C16 fireplace built over fine wall painting of c.1400 with Cruxifixion scene on similar green and gold background.

Byward Postern, to south east, built 1350 for Edward III. 3. storeys. Lower stage has 4-centred archway to entrance lobby with lion's mask to central boss of ribbed segmental vault, followed by 2 segmental-pointed archways with C16 doors to former drawbridge which has C16 panelling, and 2 outer archways to south; two mid C16 timber-framed storeys above with tension bracing to vertical studding, moulded fascia to second-floor jetty and coved cornice, and square oriel windows with leaded-lights set in wood-mullioned and transomed windows with arched heads; interiors noted as having late C16/early C17 panelling and ribbed ceilings. Early C16 wedge-shaped salient to south, with gun ports and restored archway to west: interior has brick-lined passageway to gun loops and C18 staircase to first floor which has gun ports and C18 panelling.

Legge's Mount, to north-west corner: 2-storey semicircular bastion of 1275-85, heightened in 1682-3 when gun ports added; brick 2-storey, 6-window range of 1682-3 to rear, with early C19 sashes and raised storey bands. Interior noted as having early C16 brick walling and vault to basement, forming part of assay associated with Tudor Mint; early C19 bomb-proof vault.

Brass Mount, to north east corner: semicircular bastion in of last C13 or early C14 with mural gallery in original brick containing 11 embrasures altered into C17 gun ports, one containing iron grille, and 6 garderobes. Basement and ground floor to rear formed in early C20.

Develin Tower, to south east corner; built 1275-85 as postern tower connected by walled causeway to Iron Gate (demolished) to east; rectangular 2-storey structure projecting eastwards into moat; partly rebuilt in 1679, when 2 north gun loops inserted, and keyed semicircular architrave to blocked first-floor east doorway built.

Well Tower: 1275-85, rebuilt above wall-walk level in mid C19; rectangular 2-storey tower with rectangular staircase turret to north-east. Restored cross loops; pointed-arched doorway, restored in C19, to west wall walk; restored lancet to north; 2 shoots for drawing water to south wall; mid C19 two-light window. Attached to north wall is part of cross wall to Salt Tower (qv), built to bar inner ward. Interior: 2-bay quadripartite vault and C17/C18 fireplace in ground-floor room; square-headed chamfered doorway to vice; late C13 pointed rere-arch to doorway of first-floor chamber, which has C17/C18 fireplace.

Cradle Tower: built 1348-55 for Edward III as privy water-gate to royal apart- ments; 1867 by A Salvin above wall walk. T-plan, with polygonal stair-turret to west. Pointed moulded arch set in segmental-arched recess to south entrance, which has grooves for portcullis and timber grille with C14 iron hinge and 2 drawbar holes. Restored and C19 loops; trefoiled lights to sides; C14 lancet to stair turret; North elevation has offset angle buttresses flanking moulded outer arch of 2 orders and pointed inner arch with portcullis groove; cinquefoil-headed lancets; C19 one and 2-light windows to first floor. Interior: 2-bay vault to entrance passage, with ribs springing from corbels (including grotesque animals to south) to hollow circle in each bay; pointed-arched doorways on either side, that to east leading into rectangular room (former porter's lodge) with C14 square-headed fireplace with bread oven and quadripartite vault springing from enriched corbels, and rebuilt doorway to west leading to quadripartite-vaulted vestibule with pointed-arched doorway to vice.

St Thomas's Tower: built 1275-85 as state entrance and apartments. 2-storey oblong tower with projecting turrets to southern angles. Originally entered by boat via water-filled basin beneath tower. South front has pointed arch of 2 chamfered orders, restored cross loops and 5-window range of C19 two-light windows. North elevation has broad stone arch to basin, reached by flight of steps from inner ward, with timber framing of 1532-3 above with oriel windows all restored in 1862-5 by A Salvin; flanked by towers to east and west, that to west having ancient studded door with lock in pointed-arched doorway and mid C19 pointed-arched doorway to first floor, and that to each having ancient studded door set in pointed-arched doorway and connected by bridge of 1867 (replacement of original) to Wakefield Tower (qv). Interior: Mural galleries, with much of original vaulting destroyed in late C17/early C18, connected to vaulted chambers in corner turrets and vice in north-east turret with access via restored pointed- arched doorway to bridge. First floor, subdivided in mid C19, originally formed royal hall (to west) and chamber to east; vaulted chamber in south-east room has chamfered ribs springing from engaged shafts with moulded capitals, hollow- moulded rere-arches, and 2 piscinae indicating that it was built as oratory; similar valuted chamber in south-west tower and traces of garderobe to former hall; main beams to floors and roof of c.1532. History: Edward I's work at the Tower of London between 1275-85, which principally involved filling in of old moat and construction of new moat with outer curtain wall and towers, cost £21,0OO - more than all his Welsh castles except Caernarvon.

Listing NGR: TQ3358880649

Selected Sources

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details

National Grid Reference: TQ 33588 80649


© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1242026 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 18-Oct-2017 at 06:54:05.

End of official listing