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Jewel Tower, London

Jewel Tower, London

The Jewel Tower is a three-story building standing right opposite the Houses of Parliament. This is one of the two surviving parts of the ancient Palace of Westminster. Separated by high walls and a moat that once ran into the Thames and was used for fishing, this tower was unharmed by the great fire that destroyed most of the palace in 1834.

The tower was built originally in the 1360s as a storehouse for the private treasures of King Edward III and was nicknamed the "King's Privy Wardrobe." The unusual L-shape design of the building is attributed to the fact that King Edward wanted it to take no space in his garden.

Later, in the early 17th-century, it was converted to store records of the House of Lords. Among these documents are some truly historic ones, like the execution order of Charles I. In 1869, the Standard Weights and Measures Department took over the building. Its thick medieval walls provided ideal setting for precise measurements.

Unlike the much popular Jewel House at the Tower of London – home to the British Crown jewels, the Jewel Tower of Westminster is a hidden gem that is largely overlooked by millions of tourists visiting here each year. Simultaneously with the Jewel Tower's construction, another tower was built nearby, designed to accommodate a 4-ton bell called "The Edward", a forerunner to Big Ben. That clock tower remained in place until 1698, standing on the north side of New Palace Yard, a little to the west of where the present clock tower is located.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of London, England within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Jewel Tower on Map

Sight Name: Jewel Tower
Sight Location: London, England
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in London, England

Create Your Own Walk in London

Create Your Own Walk in London

Creating your own self-guided walk in London is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Harry Potter Walking Tour

Harry Potter Walking Tour

The arrival of Harry Potter books, followed by tremendously successful Hollywood adaptation, has made London even more popular now with the Harry Potter fans all over the world. The list of attractions in the city associated with Potter’s journeys includes both, newly-invented as well as some long-standing locations. To follow in the footsteps of the young wizard and his friends in the British...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.8 Km or 4.2 Miles
London's Historic Pubs Walk

London's Historic Pubs Walk

If there’s anything more an iconic symbol for London than Big Ben or the London Eye, then it must be the traditional English pub and London is full of them, dating from pre-Victorian times to just about five minutes ago. With so much history surrounding London there is no shortage of historic pubs to choose from. Whether you fancy half timbered, rambling watering holes or small but perfectly...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 Km or 3.5 Miles
Walk around Buckingham Palace

Walk around Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace, the British monarch's official residence, is a must-see for anyone visiting London, but so are the adjacent royal establishments that give a unique window into the royal way of life. On this self-guided walk, along with Buckingham Palace, you will visit the St. James's private royal residence, the wonderful Queen's Gallery, and drop by the official Buckingham gift...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Kensington/Knightsbridge Walking Tour

Kensington/Knightsbridge Walking Tour

Situated just below Hyde Park, Knightsbridge and South Kensington are two adjacent neighborhoods with grand Victorian homes and leafy garden squares. The area is also a shopper's paradise featuring grand luxury stores, whereas museumgoers will find a number of excellent museums on history, science and arts. On this self guided walk, you will visit former Princess Diana's residence,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles
South Bank Walking Tour

South Bank Walking Tour

Situated south of The Thames river, the South Bank is an ever-changing and always lively area at the heart of London’s cultural scene, and home to world-class arts venues like Shakespeare Globe Theatre, the Tate Modern, and the Southbank Centre. Dotting along the tree-lined riverside walkway are also food markets, restaurants, and historic pubs and cafes.

Take this self-guided walk to...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 Km or 3 Miles
Covent Garden Walking Tour

Covent Garden Walking Tour

During this self guided walking tour around Covent Garden areas you will have a chance to visit such famous and interesting London attractions, as National Gallery, London Coliseum, London Transport Museum and many others. Don't miss your chance to explore the best of the Holborn and Covent Garden areas.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


London Souvenirs: 20 Distinctively British Products for Travelers

London Souvenirs: 20 Distinctively British Products for Travelers

Most visitors to London consider shopping as part of their must-do London experience. From street markets to Victorian arcades to snobbish Sloane Square to busy Oxford Street, there are a host of shops selling items which typically represent this vibrant city. Whether you are shopping for souvenirs...