Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London

tower of london

Forgetting to lock the front door is not an option for the warder at the centuries-old Ceremony of the Keys celebrated every night at the world-famous Tower of London.

The 700 year old tradition includes the formal locking of all the doors by the Tower’s Chief Yeoman Warder who allows members of the public to attend the historical event.

Even though the monarch doesn’t live here anymore the tower does contain the prized crown jewels and other valuables, which means locking the doors has been made into quite a special occasion. The tower is located near Tower Hill tube station and provides a ceremony that will dazzle adults and children alike.

Members of the public get to escort the warder locking all the doors until he is challenged by the sentry whom he must answer in order to complete the task.

Visitors are admitted to the tower under escort at 9.30pm precisely and latecomers will not be admitted as there is a strict schedule!

At exactly 9.53pm the Chief Yeoman Warder of the Tower of London comes out of the Byward Tower dressed in red carrying a candle lantern in one hand and the Queen’s Keys in the other.

The ceremony that follows is an impressive theatrical performance by the warder and will engage visitors, especially history buffs, looking for a slice of ancient Royal tradition.

Tickets are free to the Ceremony of the Keys but visitors wanting to attend need to apply well in advance before your break to make sure you get a place on this extremely popular tour.

The ceremony, which has been running since the 14th century, is well worth the visit and it is advisable to take a peek inside the compelling features of the Tower of London in the day before the doors are locked at night.