Shirley's UK Trip 2012 travel blog

Just to prove I'm really in London

Jewel Tower

I'm really looking forward to getting inoto the right time-zone so I don't spend several hours wide awake every night. Patience!

I was going to have a quiet day but the sun was shining this morning & it was impossible to waste it. I decided to go into central London by bus - it's much slower but you see so much more.

The bus route from Crystal Palace usually goes to Oxford Circus but today it terminated at Parliament Square because of the St Patrick's Day march & concert in Trafalgar Square. Also it was Mother's Day today so there were lots of people out & about.

Just across the road from the Houses of Parliament is the Jewel Tower which was built by Edward III in 1365. It's one of the few surviving buildings of the old Westminster Palace & was built to house Edward's treasures. It happens to be managed by English Heritage so I took the opportunity to not only have my first dose of history but to renew my English Heritage membership which Sue & I found such good value last year.

Interestingly, Edward built the tower on land taken from Westminster Abbey, a fact that the monks greatly resented. A 15th Century document from the Abbey records with satisfaction that William Ussheborne, one of the royal officers responsible for this, died after choking on a fish caught in the tower's moat, which had also been dug on Abbey land. Don't mess with the monks & their wealth.

Again, I just wandered & slowly made my way eventually to Oxford Circus where I just missed a bus back to Crystal Palace. I eventually got a bus in Regent St & had the front seat upstairs so it was as good as a sight-seeing tour.

It was starting to drizzle by the time I got home so I was glad to get back & relax with a glass of wine & read today's newspaper. The new series of Upstairs Downstairs is on BBC One at 9:00 so I hope I can stay awake.

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