The Royal Armouries is the United Kingdom’s national museum of arms and armour, and one of the most important museums of its type in the world.
Its origins lie in the Middle Ages: its celebrated core collection originating in the nation’s working arsenal, assembled over many centuries at the Tower of London.
In the reign of Elizabeth I, selected items began to be arranged for display to visitors, making the Royal Armouries heir to one of the oldest deliberately created visitor attractions in the country.
The Royal Armouries was established in its present form by the National Heritage Act (1983) and is a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) sponsored by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. In 2013-14, it received £7,620,000 in Grant in Aid and £1,500,000 from commercial activity and sponsorship. It currently employs 160 staff and receives nearly 2 million visitors a year across the three sites, who, except at the Tower of London, visit for free.