Here be Dragons

Today (Monday, January 23) sees the coming of the Year of the Dragon, and any Chinese Dragon stopping off to visit London’s sights might care to look up some of his occidental relatives among the exhibits in the Royal Armouries’ galleries at the Tower of London. Henry Tudor – On entering the White Tower, Henry VIII’s silvered and engraved armour (II.5; VI.1-5) sports dragons on both the man’s and horse’s harness. Unfortunately both are being vanquished by St George –Read more

Keeper of the Tower

Royal Armouries Head of Creative Programmes, Karen Whitting dreamed up the idea for a mighty dragon, inspired by the small figures of a dragon and a hydra in the scale model of the Grand Storehouse at the Tower of London. Working with the creative team at Haley Sharpe Design a concept drawing was produced which York-based Paragon Creative have brought wonderfully to life. Building on the tradition of trophies of arms and armour created at the Tower of London fromRead more

The Washing of the Lions

Found amongst the Royal Armouries archives at The Tower of London this fragile scrap of paper is a ticket for perhaps one of the most unusual April Fool’s Day stunts in British history – The Annual Ceremony of Washing the Lions. The printed and wax sealed ticket admits Victorian visitors to the Tower via the White Gate, with strict instructions not give gratuities to any of the wardens on duty. All in all, an entertaining spectacle appears to be promisedRead more

Power House Installation: Week One

Blogger: Karen Whitting, Creative Programmes Construction of the Power House exhibition at the Royal Armouries in the Tower of London began last week. Preparing the gallery for the installation has involved ripping out the old displays, which in an old building can be problematic if unanticipated issues are found. Often all the pre-planning and preparation done prior to installation can be overturned in an instant – with new solutions and decisions needed immediately. However, with the right project team theseRead more

The Naming of the Dragon

A fabulous “bejewelled” dragon – standing 3m high and specially commissioned by the Royal Armouries and Historic Royal Palaces – will create a guaranteed “wow factor” as the centrepiece of the Power House exhibition at the Tower of London. A modern trophy, the dragon is made up of components representing each of the great institutions of state associated with the Tower. The design is still being finalised but the majestic beast is likely to include: Ordnance Office – armour, swords,Read more

Power House Work Begins

Work has begun at the Tower of London on the installation of the new exhibition – Power House. The exhibitions ‘Prisoners and Punishment’ and ‘Hands on History’ which have been running on the top floor of the White Tower, closed on 28 February. Over four days Royal Armouries staff carefully removed collection objects to safe storage leaving an empty shell of cases and structures. The core design team is continuing to work on the interpretation panels, with graphic amendments andRead more