The Jewel Tower, or ‘King’s Privy Wardrobe’, was built c.1365 to house Edward III’s treasures. One of only two buildings of the original Palace of Westminster to survive the fire of 1834, the tower features a 14th-century ribbed vault. It displays Parliament Past and Present, a fascinating exhibition about the history of Parliament.
The second floor now includes illustrated panels, telling the story of this small but important building.
It also contains a case holding a few of the old Imperial Weights and Measures as the Jewel Tower was home to the Weights and Measures Office between 1869 and 1938. The centrepiece of the display is eleven bronze measures from 1/4 gill to one bushel all dated between 1883 and 1895. There are also three George IV (1824) measures for one pint, a quart and a gallon.
Other items in the case include a case of apothecary’s measures pipettes and standards for one cubic inch, a Troy pound, a 2lb weight and the very tiny grain weights in their original wooden box. More items of interest on this floor include various items that have been retrieved from our moat over the years, including wine bottles, a bowl and some jars. The Palace of Westminster sword can also been seen, which dates back to the early 9th century and was discovered during renovations just after the Second World War.
The remains of a moat and medieval quay are still visible outside.
Abingdon Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 3JX
Tel: 020 7222 2219
Times: April – October, daily, 10.00 – 17.00
November – March, Saturday & Sunday, 10.00 – 16.00