This weekend, the Tower of London will launch a brand new permanent exhibition that commemorates the Royal Mint’s tumultuous 500-year tenancy here at one of the capital’s oldest fortresses. Furthermore, to celebrate the opening of Coins and Kings, the Tower is hosting a special programme of events and activities sure to delight visitors over the coming bank holiday.
The new exhibition inhabits the same site where the Mint was based between the late 13th century and 1812, and entrance is covered by the price of Tower of London admission, including access to the temporary workshops and performances taking place this week and next.
Family-friendly, drop-in craft sessions will run from Sunday (May 26th), giving young history buffs the opportunity to experience the bustling atmosphere of the Royal Mint first hand. Becoming coiners themselves, guests can design their own currency and mint Tudor half-groats, fabricating a medieval purse to keep their coins safe from pickpockets, thieves and brigands.
The bank holiday will also host extravagant costumed performances of a real tale drawn from the Royal Mint’s colourful past. Sir Isaac Newton is best known as one of history’s greatest scientific minds, but he also served as a warden at the Mint and oversaw the creation of coins for William III – a complicated story of rivalry and subterfuge presented here as Silver for the Sovereign.
Performances will take place in three segments on Saturday, Sunday and Monday (May 25th to May 27th), with the King’s Arrival at 11am foreshadowing a Royal Riot at 11:30am and 2pm. The story comes to its dramatic conclusion in The Pyx of the Mint at 3:45pm, so visitors can experience the Tower’s other attractions at their leisure between parts.
Coins and Kings: The Royal Mint at the Tower opens on May 24th and incorporates a range of exhibits, installations and interactive displays both indoors and outdoors.
Entrance to the Tower of London costs £21.45 for adults. One of the capital’s most important tourist destinations, the Tower is easily accessible from central London hotels and is served by the Tower Hill Underground station.