Today's small military guard, seen outside the Queen's House and the Waterloo Barracks, is an echo of Cromwell's innovation.
The monarchy was restored in 1660 and the reign of the new king, Charles II (1660-85), saw further changes in the functions of the Tower. Its role as a state prison declined, and the Office of Ordnance (which provided military supplies and equipment) took over responsibility for most of the castle, making it their headquarters. During this period another long-standing tradition of the Tower began - the public display of the Crown Jewels. They were moved from their old home to a new site in what is now called the Martin Tower, and put on show by their keeper Talbot Edwards.
Schemes for strengthening the Tower's defences, some elaborate and up to date, were also proposed so that in the event of violent opposition, which was always a possibility during the 1660s and 1670s, Charles would not be caught out as his father had been earlier in the century. In the end, none of these came to much, and the Restoration period saw only a minor strengthening of the Tower. Yet the well equipped garrison which Charles II and his successors maintained was often used to quell disturbances in the City; James II (1685-8) certainly took steps to use the Tower's forces against the opposition which eventually caused him to flee into exile.
Under the control of the Office of Ordnance the Tower was filled with a series of munitions stores and workshops for the army and navy. The most impressive and elegant of these was the Grand Storehouse begun in 1688 on the site where the Waterloo Barracks now stand. It was initially a weapons store but as the 17th century drew to a close it became more of a museum of arms and armour. More utilitarian buildings gradually took over the entire area previously covered by the medieval royal lodgings to the south of the White Tower; by 1800, after a series of fires and rebuildings, the whole of this area had become a mass of large brick Ordnance buildings. All these, however, have been swept away, and the only surviving storehouse put up by the Ordnance is the New Armouries, standing against the eastern inner curtain wall between the Salt and Broad Arrow towers.
While the Ordnance was busy building storehouses, offices and workshops, the army was expanding accommodation for the Tower garrison. Their largest building was the Irish Barracks (now demolished), sited behind the New Armouries building in the Outer Ward.
The Tower in the 19th Century:From fortress to ancient monument
Between 1800 and 1900 the Tower of London took on the appearance which to a large extent it retains today. Early in the century many of the historic institutions which had been based within its walls began to move out. The first to go was the Mint which moved to new buildings to the north east of the castle in 1812, where it remained until 1968, when it moved to its present location near Cardiff. The Royal Menagerie left the Lion Tower in 1834 to become the nucleus of what is now London Zoo, and the Record Office (responsible for storing documents of state), moved to Chancery Lane during the 1850s, vacating parts of the medieval royal lodgings and the White Tower. Finally, after the War Office assumed responsibility for the manufacture and storage of weapons in 1855, large areas of the fortress were vacated by the old Office of Ordnance.
However, before these changes took place the Tower had once again - but for the last time - performed its traditional role in asserting the authority of the state over the people of London. The Chartist movement of the 1840s (which sought major political reform) prompted a final refortification of the Tower between 1848 and 1852, and further work was carried out in 1862. To protect the approaches to the Tower new loop-holes and gun emplacements were built and an enormous brick and stone bastion (destroyed by a bomb during the Second World War) constructed on the north side of the fortress. Following the burning down of the Grand Storehouse in 1841, the present Waterloo Barracks was put up to accommodate 1,000 soldiers, and the Brick, Flint and Bowyer towers to its north were altered or rebuilt to service it; the Royal Fusiliers' building was erected at the same time to be the officers' mess. The mob never stormed the castle but the fear of it left the outer defences of the Tower much as they are today.
The vacation of large parts of the Tower by the offices which had formerly occupied it and an increasing interest in the history and archaeology of the Tower led, after 1850, to a programme of 're-medievalisation'. By then the late 17th and 18th-century Ordnance buildings and barracks, together with a series of private inns and taverns, such as the Stone Kitchen and the Golden Chain, had obscured most of the medieval fortress. The first clearances of these buildings began in the late 1840s, but the real work began in 1852, when the architect Anthony Salvin, already known for his work on medieval buildings, re-exposed the Beauchamp Tower and restored it to a medieval appearance. Salvin's work was much admired and attracted the attention of Prince Albert (husband of Queen Victoria), who recommended that he be made responsible for a complete restoration of the castle. This led to a programme of work which involved the Salt Tower, the White Tower, St Thomas's Tower, the Bloody Tower and the construction of two new houses on Tower Green.
In the 1870s Salvin was replaced by John Taylor, a less talented and sensitive architect. His efforts concentrated on the southern parts of the Tower, notably the Cradle and Develin towers and on the demolition of the 18th-century Ordnance Office and storehouse on the site of the Lanthorn Tower, which he rebuilt. He also built the stretches of wall linking the Lanthorn Tower to the Salt and Wakefield towers. But by the 1890s, restoration of this type was going out of fashion and this was the last piece of re-medievalisation to be undertaken. The work of this period had succeeded in opening up the site and re-exposing its defences, but fell far short of restoring its true medieval appearance.
The second half of the 19th century saw a great increase in the number of visitors to the Tower, although sightseers had been admitted as early as 1660. In 1841 the first official guidebook was issued and ten years later a purpose-built ticket office was erected at the western entrance. By the end of Queen Victoria's reign in 1901, half a million people were visiting the Tower each year.
The 20th Century
The First World War (1914-18) left the Tower largely untouched; the only bomb to fall on the fortress landed in the Moat. However, the war brought the Tower of London back into use as a prison for the first time since the early 19th century and between 1914-16 eleven spies were held and subsequently executed in the Tower. The last execution in the Tower took place in 1941 during the Second World War (1939-45). Bomb damage to the Tower during the Second World War was much greater: a number of buildings were severely damaged or destroyed including the mid-19th century North Bastion, which received a direct hit on 5 October 1940, and the Hospital Block which was partly destroyed during an air raid in the same year. Incendiaries also destroyed the Main Guard, a late 19th-century building to the south-west of the White Tower. During the Second World War the Tower was closed to the public. The Moat, which had been drained and filled in 1843, was used as allotments for vegetable growing and the Crown Jewels were removed from the Tower and taken to a place of safety, the location of which has never been disclosed. Today the Tower of London is one of the world's major tourist attractions and 2.5 million visitors a year come to discover its long and eventful history, its buildings, ceremonies and traditions.
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