Guidebook: The Jewel Tower
Product Code: 19566
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For 650 years, the Jewel Tower has stood beside the heart of government in England. Built in 1365 within the private palace of King Edward III, the tower began as a secure repository for the most valuable possessions of the royal household. Inside it, clerks stored the king’s goods, sent them for repair, and dispatched them to other castles and manors.
As royal residence moved away from Westminster in the 16th century, the tower became a Parliamentary record office, preserving the records of the House of Lords. The building was repaired and protected against fire in the 17th and 18th centuries, although much of the medieval fabric remained intact. In 1834, the tower and its contents survived the fire that destroyed much of the historic Palace of Westminster and the records of the House of Commons.
In 1869, with the construction of a record store inside the new Houses of Parliament, the Jewel Tower attained a third function, as attesting facility for the Board of Trade Standards Department, determining the definitive value of weights and measures for Britain and its empire.
Since 1987, the Jewel Tower has formed part of the Westminster World Heritage Site.
- 40 pages
- Published in 2013
Size: Approx. 160 mm (w) x 285 mm (h)
Author: Jeremy Ashbee
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