Next to the Tower of London is 220(ish) year old building that is the headquarters of the people who look after the lighthouses.

Originally founded by King Henry VIII in 1514 to manage shipping safety along the Thames, what is today Trinity House was officially called (deep breath!)… “The Master, Wardens, and Assistants of the Guild, Fraternity, or Brotherhood of the most glorious and undivided Trinity, and of St. Clement in the Parish of Deptford-Strond in the County of Kent.”

They long decamped from Deptford to the City though — and the current building was constructed in the 1790s, and largely restored following the unexpected intervention of a German bomb in December 1940.

A lot of the restoration of the building is based on a series of photos taken in 1919 for publication in the Country Life magazine, which is a rare stroke of fortune for the ill-fated building.

It is therefore within a fairly grand building of the city livery companies style, and while public tours used to be very rare, they are now a fairly regular affair.

There are roughly two tours per month, always on a Monday at 3pm – at least there were before the lockdown, but they restart provisionally in October.

Tours last around 75 minutes and cost £10 per person, which goes to the Trinity House charitable fund providing education and welfare services to mariners.

To book a tour, go to their website, select a date, and then send them an email with your details.

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