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Jewel Tower, Abingdon St, London SW1P 3JX

The Jewel Tower was built between 1365 and 1366 as part of the Palace of Westminster to house the personal treasure of King Edward III.

Originally, the Tower was a three-storey crenelated building surrounded by a moat which linked to the River Thames. The Tower remained in use as a safe storage for the monarch’s personal treasure until a fire in 1512, when a fire in the Palace caused Henry VIII to move the Royal Court to the Palace of Whitehall.

The Jewel Tower has served a number of different usages: at the end of the 16th century the House of Lords used the building to store parliamentary records; in 1869 the Standard Weights and Measures Department used the Tower to store official weights and measures; in 1948 the Ministry of Works took over the building and repaired the damage caused by the Second World War. The Tower is now in the care of English Heritage.

Jewel Tower
(click on the image to enlarge)