The Savoy Palace, considered the grandest nobleman's townhouse of medieval London, was the residence of John of Gaunt until it was destroyed in the Peasants' Revolt of 1381. It lay between the Strand and the River Thames – the present Savoy Theatre and Savoy Hotel were named in its memory. In the locality of the palace the administration of law was by a special jurisdiction apart from the rest of the county of Middlesex, known as the Liberty of the Savoy.
In the Middle Ages, although there were many noble palaces within the walls of the City of London, the most desirable location for housing the nobility was the Strand, which was the greatest part of the ceremonial route between the City and the Palace of Westminster, where the business of parliament and the royal court was transacted. Other advantages of the Strand were that a house could have a water frontage on the Thames, the great water highway, and be free of the stink, smoke, and social tumult of the City of London downstream and generally downwind to the east, and its constant threat of fires.
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