The Jewel Tower is a 14th-century surviving element of the royal Palace of Westminster, in London, England. It was built between 1365 and 1366, under the direction of William of Sleaford and Henry de Yevele, to house the personal treasure of Edward III. The tower, a three-storey, crenellated stone building, occupied a secluded part of the palace and was protected by a moat linked to the River Thames. The ground floor featured elaborate carved vaulting, described by historian Jeremy Ashbee as "an architectural masterpiece". The tower continued to be used for storing the monarch's treasure and personal possessions until 1512, when a fire in the palace caused Henry VIII to relocate his court to Whitehall.
At the end of the 16th century, the House of Lords began to use the tower to store its parliamentary records, building a house alongside it for the use of the parliamentary clerk, and extensive improvements followed in 1621. The tower continued as the Lords' records office through the 18th century, and several sets of renovations and building work were carried out to improve its fire-proofing and comfort, creating the current appearance of the tower. In 1834, the tower was one of only four buildings to survive a terrible fire in Westminster, and in the aftermath the records were moved to a new, purpose-built archive.
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