The Royal Armouries is located in the White Tower, the central keep of the Tower of London, which is its historical home. This is Britain’s oldest museum, and one of the oldest museums in the world.
The origins of the Armouries may be traced back to the working armoury of the medieval kings of England. The first recorded visitor to the Tower Armouries was in 1498, entry to which was by special permission. After the restoration of Charles II in 1660, the paying public was allowed in to marvel at new displays set up to celebrate the power and splendour of English monarchy.
This is the start of the Armouries life as a museum.
The Royal Armouries is one of the ancient institutions of the Tower of London, which have also included the Board of Ordinance, the Menagerie, the Royal Mint, the Jewel House, the Royal Observatory and the Tower Record Office. These institutions are the focus of a permanent exhibition in the White Tower – Powerhouse.
Find out more about the White Tower and how to visit the Royal Armouries website.