London Journals

The sights of Legal London

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A travel journal to London by Amanda

The Royal Courts of Justice Photo, London, England More Photos
Quote: London is the centre of the common law system that has spread across the world to America, Australia, and others. As you'd expect, the birthplace of this system has many fascinating sights.

The sights of Legal London

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Overview

Quote:
Legal London is a historic place; the origins of the English common law go back to Saxon times, before the Norman invasion of 1066. The common law as a system dates back to Henry II in the 12th century. As you’d expect from this long history, the modern English legal system is full of sights and interest for the tourist. If you’ve seen Rumpole of the Bailey, read Dickens, or come across references to the system, you’ll have made a start. The main interesting legal sights in London are the 4 Inns of Court (Gray’s Inn, Lincoln’s Inn, Middle Temple and Inner Temple), the Royal Courts of Justice (RCJ), the House of Lords, and the Old Bailey. These are all close together –the Inns are in a g...Read More

Lincoln's Inn (Inns of Court)

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Attraction | "The Inns of Court"

Lincoln's Inn (Inns of Court) Photo, London, England
Quote:
The 4 Inns of Court are historic wonders – and modern day societies. They were founded after Edward I made an order in 1292 in Council. In order to become and stay a barrister, you have to join one of the Inns and be called to the Bar by it. Until you are called you cannot practise as a barrister. The Inns contain buildings for the use of barristers – the Hall, bar, church, and library, and also buildings rented by sets of chambers. All barrister must be self-employed, but most join a set of chambers to share overheads such as clerks, utilities, books, experience, and for company. They also accept new barristers in the final stages of qualifying, pupils, in a type of apprenticeship. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 5, 2001

Lincoln's Inn (Inns of Court)
Lincoln's Inn Fields
London, England WC2A 3TL
+44 20 7405 1393

Gray's Inn

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Attraction

Quote:
Gray’s Inn is one of the larger Inns of Court. It is in Holborn, between High Holborn and the Theobald’s Road. It is laid out in a square area in Holborn, surrounded by a wall. Entrances are on High Holborn (3 of them) Bedford Row, and Theobald’s Road. After dark and at weekends, only the entrance on High Holborn is open. If you go in through this main entrance, you reach South Square, a large paved courtyard surrounded by Georgian buildings, with the Hall and Chapel on the north side of the square. No-one knows exactly when it was founded, and the records don’t start until the late 16th century, but lawyers in the later 14th century are listed elsewhere are members of it, so it must h...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 5, 2001

Gray's Inn
8 South Square
London, England WC1R 5EU
020 7458 7800

Middle Temple Ye Old Cheshire Cheese

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Attraction | "Middle Temple"

Quote:
Middle Temple is "my" Inn – I am both a member of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple and have Chambers here. It is based around the long cobbled Middle Temple Lane, which runs south from Fleet Street downhill to the river. Most of the Inn’s buildings are either on this road or in pedestrianised courts off it – Brick Court, Essex Court, Elm Court, Fountain Court and Pump Court. The Courts are a joy to wander through – small, intimate, and lined with brick and stone buildings from the 16th century onwards. There are several foot entrances to Middle, but the two main passageways through the wall that surrounds the Inn are at either end of the Lane – on the Victoria Embankment and Fleet Street....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 5, 2001

Middle Temple Ye Old Cheshire Cheese
145 Fleet Street
London, England EC4A 2BU
(020) 7353-6170

Middle Temple Ye Old Cheshire Cheese

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Attraction | "Temple Church"

Middle Temple Ye Old Cheshire Cheese Photo, London, England
Quote:
The Temple site was originally occupied by the Knights Templar, an order of monks who were established to help run the crusades to Jerusalem. Although based in modern Israel, they were a very wealthy order with substantial assets all over Western Europe. Their English base was at the Temple, which is now Middle and Inner Temple, two of the four English Inns of Court. After the dissolution of the Knights in the 13th century, the buildings and land passed to the Crown, then the Knights Hospitaller and was eventually taken over by Serjants and lawyers; it remains so to this day. The Temple church was built by the Knights, and is one of only 4 Norman round churches which still survive in ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 8, 2001

Middle Temple Ye Old Cheshire Cheese
145 Fleet Street
London, England EC4A 2BU
(020) 7353-6170

The Royal Courts of Justice

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Attraction

The Royal Courts of Justice Photo, London, England
Quote:
The Royal Courts of Justice (RCJ) certainly emphasise the majesty of the law. The vast building of the Supreme Court (which means the High Court, not, as in the US, the senior appellate court) is on the Strand, and its vast neo-Gothic forms tower above the road. This is the building where serious civil cases are heard, and where the Court of Appeal and Court of Criminal Appeal sit. It is an astonishing building, and well worth your time. True to the neo-Gothic style, the RCJ looks like a vast, grand cathedral. As you go through the wrought-iron gates, and up the wide stone steps, the pointed arches high above your head have an ecclesiastical air. Past the oak doors are the decidedly ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 8, 2001

The Royal Courts of Justice
The Strand
London, England
+44 (20 7) 947 6000