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Sustaining Our Rule Of Law

  • Visits

London’s Middle Temple may only be a short step from noisy streets but the tranquility of the Inns of Court that we experienced on our March outing made us all quickly aware that this is a very special part of our capital city. 

Lawyers have been studying and practising from here since the 14th Century.  

This land was once the headquarters of the Knights Templar, the Crusaders who owed elegance to the Pope.

Though disbanded by royal decree in 1312, they had laid the foundations for part of London which remains a separately administered area of the city, where the gates are still closed every night to insure it maintains its independent status. 

Our guides shared with us how King John found convenient sanctuary here from his argumentative barons in the Temple Church. It remains today a Royal Peculiar, a place of worship subject to the direct jurisdiction not of bishops but of the monarch himself. 

It was James 1 who insured this land’s independence in perpetuity, as long as it devotes its attention to furthering the practice and education of lawyers and their students. 

Painting of Bitz Bomb Damage

Its history has not always been quiet. Buildings here were severely damaged around the time of London’s Great Fire and several of its historic structures were destroyed in WW11. The east end of the Middle Temple Hall where we were to be entertained to lunch suffered a direct hit during the Blitz of 1940. 

Impressive rebuilding and restoration has meant we would be eating under the Hall’s magnificent double-hammer beam roof, surrounded by original evidence of royalty who appreciated what’s done here alongside memorials to eminent lawyers who for centuries have shared their wisdom with their successors and so helped to cherish this place.

Do CLICK here for much more on Middle Temple and the Inns of Court.

Our thanks to Grahame for arranging an inspiring day, to Andrew who coordinates our event programme and to Peter for his help with the photographs.