Honourable Societies of the Inner Temple, Middle Temple, Lincoln's Inn Gray's Inn., London
In the area served by Temple Underground are the four Inns of Court. These are:
Lincoln's Inn i which s said to take its name from Henry de Lacy, third Earl of Lincoln, who died in 1311, and was its patron. His own great house was adjacent .
The Inn lies to the north of the Strand and to the south of High Holborn . It has a medieval Hall and Gateway abutting onto Chancery Lane. The medieval Hall, the Victorian Great Hall in gothic style, and Library are tourist attractions, as well as providing for the needs of practising and student lawyers. Politicians, novelists and Chief Justices of the Kings Bench can be found in the membership records.
Inner Temple occupies the eastern half of a site, known as the Temple, which was chosen by the Knights Templar in the twelfth century as their London headquarters. The round church they constructed there was modelled on the Church of St. Sepulchre in Jerusalem.The Inner and the Middle Temple, each occupy one of the halls constructed by the Templars on the site.
The Middle Temple has occupied the western half of the land known as the Temple since the mid-14th century when the land was rented from the Knights Hospitaller, who had acquired it following the fall of the Knights Templar. After the Reformation the Temple became the property of the Crown until 1608 when King James I conveyed the lands of the Temple to the Societies of Inner Temple and Middle Temple.
Gray’s Inn has been teaching since the reign of Edward III. The first building known to have been on or close to the site of the present Hall was the Manor House of the ancient Manor of Purpoole, which was the London residence of the De Gray family, whose members came to live and work here and formed the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn.
Many Templar symbols can be seen on the buildings like the Agnus Dei/Lamb of God, and heads of men.
The Inns of Court in London is a complex of historic buildings within the City of London that belong to professional associations that English barristers (i. e. lawyers) must join on a mandatory basis. Basically their function is to provide accomodation, offices, libraries, training and dining facilities for barristers, much like a university campus. Located in the "Temple" suburb of London.
Years past, I got a glimpse of the buildings that comprise "Legal London" from a boat on the Thames.... so beautiful, such a formal, elegant campus of buildings. This trip we explored the maize of buildings while searching for the Temple Church.
Directions: Exit the Undergound from the Temple stop and hang a right. Best time to visit is Saturday (the Temple tube stop is closed on Sunday) when the streets are empty and you have the area nearly to yourself
The Inns of Court - originally hostels for trainee lawyers in the Middle Ages, now offices for legal firms.
Lovely secluded little courts and gardens not very far from the centre but hidden away from the madding crowds and traffic.
Address: Lincoln's Inn, north of Fleet Street
The buidling in Perpendicular design dates from 1874. The centrepiece is a vast Great Hall. Courtrooms surround this on two floors, some of original design, quite small and dark. The public may go into the Hall and are also allowed into the public galleries of many of the courts.
Address: In the Strand
Middle and Inner Temple: the buildings are on the site of the London of the Knights Templar founded in 1119 to protect pilgrims on the way to the Holy Land. The Knights Templar was dissolved in 1312 and their buildings given to the Knights of St John of Jerusalem who leased them out to law students.
Ancient buildings, steeped in history. Wildy's Book Shop (in this picture) sells legal books. The firm was established in 1830. The arms are the Earl of Lincoln who owned the land. The lion from his coat of arms is the symbol of Lincoln's Inn.
Address: Either Temple or Chancery Lane tube stations