Tower of London costs £100 for family of four – though some can get in for £1
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Situated next to the River Thames in the heart of bustling London, the Tower of London is one of the country’s oldest and most captivating buildings, with a history that dates back to the Norman Conquest.
Over the past 1000 years the royal castle has had many functions and hosted some of the most notorious figures in British history, and it is still home to the Crown Jewels.
Today the castle is taken care of by the charity Historic Royal Palaces, which is also responsible for maintaining Kew Palace, Kensington Palace, Banqueting House and Hampton Court Palace.
The Tower is an extremely popular tourist attraction, with visitors coming from around the world to view the World Heritage Site and meet the Yeoman Warders, known as the Beefeaters, who act as guardians of the castle.
Here Express.co.uk takes a look at how much a visit to the Tower will cost a family, what you can see there and the surprising deal being offered to some members of the public.
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What is the Tower of London?
The Tower of London, or officially His Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, was first built in 1066 after the Normans invaded England, with its original purpose as a royal residence, however from 1100 until 1952 the castle served as an infamous prison.
The building was expanded over its first few hundred years, with the addition of the White Tower in 1078 by William the Conqueror giving the castle its name.
Over the years the Tower has been an armoury, a menagerie, a treasury, a public record office, the home of the Royal Mint and it remains the home of the Crown Jewels, which ticket holders may go and admire.
In the late 15th century the building became the centre of the ‘Princes in the Tower’ scandal, where the young Edward V and his brother Richard disappeared inside the tower walls, presumed murdered at the hands of their uncle Richard III.
Some of The Tower’s other most famous incarcerated inhabitants include Sir Walter Raleigh and Elizabeth I, whose mother Anne Boleyn was also executed at the Tower in 1536 – although most executions occurred just outside the building on Tower Hill.
During World War II the castle was damaged in the Blitz, but after the war was over it was restored and reopened to the public as a tourist attraction.
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How much does it cost to visit the Tower of London?
A ticket to the Tower of London grants you access to The Crown Jewels, The White Tower, Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, Battlements, Medieval Palace, Bloody Tower, Torture at the Tower exhibition, Fusiliers Museum and Royal Mint exhibition.
For a family of four (two adults and two children aged between 5-15) to visit the Tower is £100.80 without a donation, £33.60 per adult and £16.80 per child, but with a donation added on this goes up to £37 and £18.50 respectively.
Children under five go free, while seniors (aged 65+), students aged 16-17 and disabled people are entitled to concessions, £26.80 without a donation and £29.50 with.
Members of Historic Royal Palaces go free, with an annual family membership costing £110 for the first year, then £120 – only slightly cheaper than a family National Trust annual membership, which totals £146.40, or £120 for English Heritage.
Tower Hill is a vehicle free zone, but there are some car parking options available nearby, however the Tower is located in central London close to bus, Tube and DLR links making public transport much more viable.
It was announced last week that Historic Royal Palace is slashing entry costs for the Tower, Hampton Court and Kensington Palace to just £1 for those receiving universal credit and other benefits.
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What are the Tower of London’s opening times?
Tickets are available to purchase online or on the day from the ticket office, and will be valid for entry anytime except during school holidays and special events, when you will be given a half-hour timeslot.
On Monday October 30 the Tower is open 10am-5:30pm, then on Tuesday October 31 it will be open 9am-5:30pm, but for both days last admission at 3:30pm.
From November until Christmas the opening hours are Mondays and Sundays 10am-4:30pm and Tuesdays until Saturdays 9am-5:30pm, with last admission at 2:30pm.
After New Year these hours remain the same, with last admission at 3pm, however during February half-term the Tower will open for an extra hour at 9am.
In the spring the hours extend for another hour, opening at 10am and closing at 5:30pm, with last admission at 3:30pm.
Does the taxpayer fund the Tower of London?
Hampton Court Palace is owned by The Crown Estate, meaning it is in the hands of whoever is monarch, however that monarch does not own the property outright.
Historic Royal Palaces take care of its structure and grounds; as an independent charity they rely on donations and legacies, charitable activities and grants, investments and other trading activities for funding.
The charity claims it receives no money from the Crown or the Government, but data released from the financial year ending March 31 2022 says that Historic Royal Palaces were given £8,798,671 in Government grants.
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