The Jewel Tower, London

>>  Sunday, July 20, 2014

In our usual quest to find a cheap attraction in London, we visited the Jewel Tower.  It is owned by English Heritage and is one of the only surviving buildings from the original Palace Of Westminster

Considering it is in such a prominent position I've never really noticed it before, it is right next to where the news reporters stand to do their 'and today at Westminster' report.

It is only accessible by steps and inside is a spiral staircase, so not one for the less-abled or buggy pushers.  The official blurb is "It was built around 1365 to house Edward III’s treasures and was known as the ‘King’s Privy Wardrobe’."  It was basically the royal cupboard!  There's really nothing in it now.
But I was very interested to find out it was the testing centre for the Board of Trade's Standards Department from 1869 to 1938. There has been a set of standard coins, weights and measures since the 12th century, the Standards Department was in charge of checking accuracy and uniformity across the country. The Tower's thick stone walls meant that it had an even temperature and was then vibration free. But by 1938 the traffic on the road outside forced the Department to move. 

It really is only a stone's throw from Westminster Palace.  I wonder who threw the stone that broke this window.
But it was a peaceful and cool haven away from the crowds, which Cog sat and watched whilst I read the boards.

And she sat and chilled whilst I pootled around.

It is £4 for adults and £2.40 for children, but I had printed a 2for1 voucher from the Railcard website. (It is free for English Heritage members and London Pass holders.)  There is a small cafe and cool drinks and ice-cream but no toilet facilities.  (There are good clean toilets in Westminster tube station - entrance 50p  or the Methodist Central Hall is around the corner and those are free)  Check the website for more details and opening times before visiting.

I did wonder as I walked around in the quiet how many secrets the walls held and also how many people rock up here expecting the see the crown jewels!  They are in the Jewel House in the Tower of London.

For £4 it was a peaceful break in a busy day, in a busy area, not amazing, but different.


Related Posts with Thumbnails

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP