LONDON -- This city's 900-year-old Tower of London, a World
Heritage Site, launched an $18 million project to develop a new
visitor center, a riverside walkway, improved access and new
On the banks of the Thames, the tower is one of London's top
tourist attractions and one of Britain's Historic Royal Palaces. It
welcomes 2.5 million people each year.
According to Geoffrey Field, governor of the tower, the project
will include the following:The lower parts of Tower Hill Vaults, which are the ruins of a
tea warehouse destroyed during World War II, will be turned into a
centralized reception area featuring an education and
Visitors will buy their entry tickets there.A concrete bridge spanning the tower's medieval causeway to the
Thames will be replaced with a replica of a 15th century timber
bridge.A tunnel leading to the tower from the Tower Underground
station will be refurbished and new pathways created to overlook
the moat.The tower's wharf area will gain a riverside walk and an
expansion of the North Thames River Path to the water's edge.
"The Tower of London is one of the world's most historically
significant attractions. With rapidly increasing numbers of
visitors, we need to make the site more accessible while providing
a positive and educational experience," said Field.
The initiative is being funded by two grants: one from the
Heritage Lottery Fund, which is part of Britain's lottery, and one
from the Pool of London Partnership, a group of businesses and
local groups committed to the development of the area surrounding
Meanwhile, tickets to the tower now are available in most
central London Underground stations, a spokesman for London
Visitors who want to pre-book tickets can do so through the
booking agency Edwards & Edwards. The firm, through its
Globaltickets service, sells tickets to all of Britain's Historic
In addition to the tower, other royal palaces are Hampton Court
Palace; Kensington Palace, and the Banqueting House at Whitehall.
Tickets to the tower cost about $23 per person and can be booked by
calling (800) 223-6108.
Additionally, the armor and armaments of England's kings and
queens again are on display in the Royal Armouries at the tower.
The permanent collection is housed in the White Tower, which was
the first building to be constructed when the tower was started in
For additional information about the Tower of London, contact
the British Tourist Authority at (800) 462-2748 or visit its Web
site at www.visitbritain.com.