Antiqua Print Gallery Inner Temple Hall
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Inner Temple Hall

The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple is one of the four Inns of Court around the Royal Courts of Justice in London which may call members to the Bar and so entitle them to practise as barristers. (The other Inns are Middle Temple, Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn.)

The Temple was occupied in the twelfth century by the Knights Templar, who gave the area its name, and built the Temple Church which survives as the parish church of the Inner Temple and Middle Temple. The Inner Temple was first recorded as being used for legal purposes when lawyers' residences were burned down in Wat Tyler's revolt. It is an independent extra-parochial area, historically not governed by the City of London Corporation (although geographically within the boundaries and liberties of the City of London) and equally outside the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Bishop of London.

The Inn suffered heavily from wartime bombing between September 1940 and May 1941, because of its proximity to the River Thames. The buildings destroyed included the Library and the Hall although others, such as 2 King's Bench Walk, were fortunate to survive.

The oldest surviving buildings in the Inner Temple date from the seventeenth century and are on King's Bench Walk (named after the King's Bench Office which was there until the nineteenth century), though the first storey of the Knights Templars' medieval buttery (where food was served) survives as part of the larger building that contains the rebuilt Inner Temple Hall. Many other parts of the Inn are Victorian.

The Temple is often used as a location for both television and cinema.

Inner Temple is also one of the few remaining liberties, an old name for a geographic division. Middle Temple is another.


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.

(Source Wikipedia)