The Torchwood Institute was originally established at the MacLeish Estate, Aberdeenshire in 1879 by Queen Victoria. It has since found homes in Glasgow, London and Cardiff. Torchwoods purpose was to defend the Earth against alien threats.
Even before the fall of Torchwood One the structure of Torchwood wasn’t that clear, it seems as though each division acted under their own rules and regulations. Jack having worked for Torchwood three for over 100 years didn’t appear to know much about Torchwood four, he just said that its location was unknown.
Yvonne Hartman head of Torchwood one stated that one of the purposes of Torchwood was to restore the British Empire to its former glory. Torchwood one was also known as Canary Wharf in London. Canary Wharf was built to study a radar black spot, Torchwood believed they could use it to produce massive amounts of free energy, what they didn’t know was that the anomaly was a gap between our world and another.
Before the fall on Torchwood one former Prime Minister Harriet Jones revealed that she was not supposed to know about Torchwood. The Government became more aware of Torchwood after the battle of Canary Wharf but they didn’t have complete access to Torchwoods data.
After the fall of Torchwood one, Jack tried to reshape the Torchwood that was left. Torchwood three’s main purpose was to protect people from the aliens that fell through the rift in Cardiff, If the aliens were found to be friendly then Torchwood would try and get them back from where they came from.
Torchwood three was set up some time between 1883-1885. It is not known how long the Cardiff space rift has been around although evidence from a local newspaper suggests it opened in 1869.
In 2009 the Government destroyed the Torchwood Hub attempting to wipe out the remaining members following the 456 crisis. The Government felt Jack was a threat and would interfere as he had dealt with the 456 before.
Other Torchwood locations include a base under the River Thames home to experiments with Huon particles. This base was abandoned after the fall of Torchwood one. Torchwood one also owned a Torchwood Holding Facility which was abandoned in 1995.