This tower formed part of Henry III's new line of defence for the Tower of London. As Inscriptions testify its use as a prison was prevalent, and it was here that the ninth Earl of Northumberland, known as the 'Wizard Earl', spent his years of confinement, albeit in considerable style, during the early seventeenth century.
The far less luxurious treatment given to some prisoners can be seen by today's visitor to this tower a reconstruction of the rack, on view with other torture instruments. Evidence suggests that these were employed in the basement of the White Tower.
The Crown Jewels were housed in the Martin Tower from 1669 until 1841, when the Grand Storehouse fire nearly destroyed them, The tower still contains many features from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries.