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Historic England Research Records

The White Tower

Hob Uid: 405480
Location :
Greater London Authority
Tower Hamlets
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : TQ3362080550
Summary : The White Tower is the Norman keep regarded as the original structure of the Tower of London complex. Before its construction its site in the 2nd century was occupied by two successive timber-framed buildings, a large masonry building and the Roman city wall. Parts of the wall were reused in the construction of the Norman fortress. Building began c.1077 on the orders of William the Conqueror with work supervised by Gundulf, Bishop of Rochester and was completed by 1100. In 1190 an attempt was made to create a moat by the digging of a large ditch around it and encouraging the Thames to flow into it. The Tower stands in the Inner Ward and is of rectangular plan measuring 35m by 29m excluding the apse and turrets and rises on the south to a height of 27m to its battlements. It is made of Kentish ragstone with some Septana, mud stone from the Thames. It originally comprised 2 storeys and basement - the upper floor being the grand residential suite of hall, chamber and Chapel of St John. In the early 17th century this became 3 storeys with basement and 5 storey angle turrets. In 1240 it was whitewashed giving it the name it still retains. Subsequent alterations, improvements and re-use have altered its appearance greatly including the replacement of some of the original stone to Portland stone in the 17th century. The Chapel of St John is of an aisled plan with 13 bays and contains a series of Anglo-Norman capitals. The Chapel was restored in 1864-6 when the windows were replaced with 18th century stained glass from Strawberry Hill. Refurbishment and cleaning programmes in the 1960s and 1970s to the White Tower have provided much archaeological and historical information. The Tower remains the central impressive structure around which the rest of the large complex has developed.
More information : (TQ 33608058) The Tower [NR]. (1)

TQ 337805: Tower of London. Scheduled. (2)

The Tower of London was begun by William the Conqueror in the 11th century. The keep, known as the White Tower, dates from this period. The Wakefield Tower was built by Henry III. Extensive addtions were made by Edward I and Edward III. The outer defences were strengthened by Henry VIII. (3)

The White Tower - detailed account. (4)

Additional references. (5-19)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Annotated Record Map
Source details : OS 1:2500 1953
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : Greater London 1987
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 4 : 1485-1660 (Part 2)
Source details :
Page(s) : 485-90
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 6
Source Number : 12
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 5 : 1660-1782
Source details :
Page(s) : 380-4
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 5
Source Number : 13
Source : Medieval archaeology : journal of the Society for Medieval Archaeology
Source details :
Page(s) : 255
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 8 (1964)
Source Number : 14
Source : Chateau Gaillard, 2. Kolloquium Buderich bei Dusseldorf 27. bis 30. Juli 1964
Source details :
Page(s) : 40-43
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2
Source Number : 15
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Arch Excavs 1975 23 (HMSO)
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 16
Source : Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 08-Oct
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 17
Source : The London archaeologist
Source details :
Page(s) : 388-9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 3 (1980)
Source Number : 18
Source : Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 147-56
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 31, 1980
Source Number : 19
Source : The London archaeologist
Source details :
Page(s) : 390
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 414 (1984)
Source Number : 20
Source : English Heritage book of the Tower of London
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Country Life
Source details : Ancient Monuments Open to the Public 1962
Page(s) : 51
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 21
Source : Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 101-5
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 33, 1982
Source Number : 22
Source : The journal of Roman studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 220
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 47, 1957
Source Number : 23
Source : The journal of Roman studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 144
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 48, 1958
Source Number : 24
Source : The Tower of London: an illustrated history
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 25
Source : Some observations on the Tower of London
Source details :
Page(s) : 99-108
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1980
Source Number : 26
Source : The Tower of London : its buildings and institutions
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 27
Source : Five 17th century plans of the Tower of London
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 28
Source : The refortification of the Tower of London 1679-86
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 29
Source : Medieval building stone at the Tower of London
Source details :
Page(s) : 361-6
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1991
Source Number : 30
Source : Treasures from the Tower of London: arms and armour
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : The London archaeologist
Source details :
Page(s) : 270-3
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 310 (1979)
Source Number : 31
Source : Nine hundred years of the [White] Tower [of London]
Source details :
Page(s) : 270
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 3 No10, 1979
Source Number : 32
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE Greater London, Stepney
Page(s) :
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Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Md Military Archit in Eng plans (G Clark)
Page(s) : 203-273
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2, 1884
Source Number : 6
Source : Journal of the British Archaeological Association
Source details :
Page(s) : 26-32
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 6 (1900)
Source Number : 7
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details :
Page(s) : 161-181, 219-20
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 69 (1912)
Source Number : 8
Source : Tower of London, Greater London [official guide]
Source details : 1957
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 2 : the Middle Ages
Source details :
Page(s) : 706-729
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2
Source Number : 10
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 3 : 1485-1660 (part 1)
Source details :
Page(s) : 262-277
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 3

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built c.1077-1100
Monument End Date : 1100
Monument Start Date : 1077
Monument Type : Tower, Keep, Chapel
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Whitewashed
Monument End Date : 1240
Monument Start Date : 1240
Monument Type : Tower
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Altered and re-faced C17
Monument End Date : 1699
Monument Start Date : 1600
Monument Type : Tower
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Additional storey added
Monument End Date : 1666
Monument Start Date : 1633
Monument Type : Tower
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Restored 1864-6
Monument End Date : 1866
Monument Start Date : 1864
Monument Type : Chapel
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : LO 10
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : NMR 21766/19
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : NMR 21766/20
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : NMR21766/13
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : NMR21766/14
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : NMR21766/16
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 108610
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 111546
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 38 SW 1152
External Cross Reference Notes :

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Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, WHITE TOWER
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1900-01-01
End Date : 1999-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, EAST OF WHITE TOWER
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1953-01-01
End Date : 1953-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, NORTH EAST CORNER OF WHITE TOWER
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1954-01-01
End Date : 1954-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, EAST OF WHITE TOWER
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1954-01-01
End Date : 1954-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, JEWEL HOUSE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1955-01-01
End Date : 1956-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, INMOST WARD
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1955-01-01
End Date : 1955-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, TO THE EAST OF THE WHITE TOWER
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1956-01-01
End Date : 1957-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, EAST OF WHITE TOWER
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1956-01-01
End Date : 1957-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, JEWEL HOUSE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1963-01-01
End Date : 1964-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, TOWER HILL
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1965-01-01
End Date : 1965-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, HISTORY GALLERY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1976-01-01
End Date : 1977-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, POSTERN GATE/TOWER HILL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1979-01-01
End Date : 1980-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, INMOST WARD
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1979-01-01
End Date : 1979-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, BYWARD TOWER
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1992-01-01
End Date : 1992-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, MINT STREET
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1992-01-01
End Date : 1992-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, GREAT STOREHOUSE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1992-01-01
End Date : 1992-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, NEAR BRASS MOUNT
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1992-01-01
End Date : 1992-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, ROYAL LODGINGS
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1992-01-01
End Date : 1992-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, NORTH OF ST THOMAS TOWER
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1992-01-01
End Date : 1992-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, BLOODY TOWER
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, GAS MAIN HOUSING
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, INNER RING MAIN
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, SERVICE TRENCH TO KIOSK
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1994-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1994-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1994-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, TOWER PIER APPROACH
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1994-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, MASON'S STORE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1994-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, WHITE TOWER
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1995-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, WEST MOAT
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WHITE TOWER, HISTORIC FLOOR SURFACES
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1995-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, WHITE TOWER
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1996-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, WHITE TOWER
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1996-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, BASEMENT OF WHITE TOWER
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, WHITE TOWER SPINE WALL
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE WHITE TOWER, TOWER OF LONDON
Activity type : DENDROCHRONOLOGICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 2005-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER ENVIRONS SCHEME (PHASE II)
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2002-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON: ENVIRONS SCHEME
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2003-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON: INNER CURTAIN WALL
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2003-01-01
End Date : 2003-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON: DEVEREUX SCREEN
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2005-01-01
End Date : 2005-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON: NEW SIGNAGE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2007-01-01
End Date : 2008-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON: TOWER GREEN/THE CASEMATES
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2010-01-01
End Date : 2011-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON: NEW TOILET
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2010-01-01
End Date : 2010-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON: WHARF CAFE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2010-01-01
End Date : 2012-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON: MOAT
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2011-01-01
End Date : 2011-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER GARDENS/THE EMBANKMENT
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2011-01-01
End Date : 2011-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON: PARADE GROUND/JEWEL HOUSE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2012-01-01
End Date : 2012-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON: TREE REMOVAL
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2012-01-01
End Date : 2012-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON: MIDDLE DRAWBRIDGE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2012-01-01
End Date : 2012-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON: APOSTROPHE COFFEE SHOP
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2013-01-01
End Date : 2013-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE MIDDLE DRAWBRIDGE, TOWER OF LONDON
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2013-01-01
End Date : 2014-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON: SOUTH-WEST ENTRANCE CAUSEWAY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2014-01-01
End Date : 2015-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON: INMOST WARD/COLDHARBOUR TOWER
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2014-01-01
End Date : 2014-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON: THE QUEEN'S HOUSE AND BELL TOWER
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2014-01-01
End Date : 2015-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON: THE QUEEN'S HOUSE AND BELL TOWER
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2014-01-01
End Date : 2015-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON: NEW RAVEN CAGES, INMOST WARD
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2015-01-01
End Date : 2015-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON: BYWARD POSTERN
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2015-01-01
End Date : 2015-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON: WHITE TOWER
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2016-01-01
End Date : 2016-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE WHITE TOWER, TOWER OF LONDON
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2016-01-01
End Date : 2016-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON: OLD HOSPITAL BLOCK
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2016-01-01
End Date : 2016-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON: WHITE TOWER SHOP
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2016-01-01
End Date : 2016-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2018-01-01
End Date : 2018-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FLAMSTEED TOWER, THE WHITE TOWER
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2018-01-01
End Date : 2018-12-31