The Buildings

Article Index

The Temple Church

Church

The oldest part of the church is the Round which was consecrated in 1185. The quire was consecrated in 1240. The church was seriously damaged during the Second World War but when the damage was made good the reredos by Wren which had been removed by the 19th century 'restorers', was replaced. For many centuries it has been the custom for Members of the Inner Temple to sit on the south side of the church. The church is served by the Master of the Temple who resides in the Master's House adjoining the church. The usual Sunday services are Holy Communion at 8.30 am and Morning Prayer at 11.15 am.

 

Hall

Hall

The Hall stands on the site of one of the ancient halls of the Knights of the Temple. At the west end survives a portion of the medieval hall constructed by the lawyers on the site, consisting of an old buttery and undercroft. In the undercroft there is a fine 15th-century fireplace. The mediaeval Hall was taken down in 1868 and replaced by a larger Gothic Hall which was destroyed by enemy action in 1941. The foundation stone of the present Hall was laid by Her Majesty the Queen in 1952.

 

Library

Library

The Library, one of the oldest Law Libraries in the country, is mentioned in the records of the Inn as early as 1506. Although the building has been renewed and repaired over the centuries, the Inn's Library has been in continuous use since the early 16th century.
The predecessor of the present building was erected in the 19th century and destroyed by enemy action in 1941. Fortunately all the manuscripts and early printed books had been removed to places of safety, but about 45,000 volumes were lost. Many of the losses have been made good by gifts and purchases. The present library was opened in 1958. It now contains about 70,000 volumes.

 

Chambers

Most of the Chambers in the Inner Temple are used for professional purposes but the chambers above the second floor are generally residential.

 

Crown Office Row

Crown Office

The old Crown Office, from which this building takes its name, was removed to another part of the Temple as long ago as 1621 and has been in the Royal Courts of Justice since 1882. The present building was designed by Sir Edward Maufe, RA. On the south wall is a plaque recording that Charles Lamb, whose father was a servant of the Inn, was born in the building which previously stood on the site and was destroyed in 1941. The carving of Pegasus over the doorway of No 2 is by Sir Charles Wheeler, PRA.

 

Dr Johnson's Buildings

Dr Johnson's Buildings

These chambers were built in 1858 and commemorate by their name the residence of Dr Samuel Johnson at No 1 Inner Temple Lane, which formerly stood on part of the site.

 

 


Farrar's Building

It is thought that the town house of the Bishop of Ely may have stood on this site in the Middle Ages. In a later building, Dr Johnson's biographer James Boswell had his chambers here. The present building was erected in 1876.