Open London: Temple Church and Inns of Court

October 12, 2015

Open London: Temple Church and Inns of Court

October 12, 2015

It’s well known that there is loads to do in London. And I’m not just talking about the big sights like Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, but also the smaller things like the numerous markets and neighbourhoods.

So when a day in London was organised with my boyfriend’s family, I couldn’t resist heading in early and doing a bit of exploring beforehand. I’d heard something about ‘Open London’, and while I had no idea what was involved, I did know that it meant usually private places would be open for the public to explore. As far I was concerned, it’d just mean more crowds.

As we were on the tube heading to St Paul’s Cathedral, I remembered that there was a church near the Royal Courts of Justice I wanted to try and visit. I’ve just finished reading the Da Vinci Code, where they visit this church. It sounded really cool, so I wanted to check it out for myself. As we jumped off the tube a stop early, we wandered in the direction of the courts with the hope I’d find it when we got there.Entrance to London Silver Vaults

En route, we passed by the London Silver Vaults. I’d heard someone mention these before, and while I couldn’t remember what had been said, I’m super nosy and want to see everything, so we popped our heads in to see what was going on. All I can say is it’s all in the name, and I still didn’t expect it to be as cool as it was. It’s basically just vaults that are shops. They all sell silver, in a variety of formats, for a tidy (huge!) sum of money. We just had a brief look around before continuing on our way, but I only wish I was allowed to take photos because it was super cool there.

Continuing on, we arrived by the Royal Courts of Justice and I tried to get my bearings. Luckily enough, we were literally on the opposite side of the road from the entrance to the church, which is just a couple of wooden doors opening to the alley which then leads down to the church. It was only as we made our way through the doorway that I noticed this was part of the Open London event going on. How lucky were we, to have picked the one weekend that it was actually going to be open?

Temple Church circular nave
I loved exploring the church, and we were also lucky enough to have timed it to hear a short talk from the Master of the Temple (person in charge of Temple Church) about the church and it’s history. Wandering into the courtyard afterward, I treated myself to a book written by the Master of the Temple dispelling the myths in the Da Vinci Code and then got super excited…

Entrance to Temple Church, with the blue skies in the backgroundPart of practising law in the UK means you will need to study in one of the Inns of Court in London. If I’d continued with the career after completing my law degree, I would have ended up studying in one of the Inns. And the thing which interested me so much about Temple Church is it’s ties to the Knights Templar, the Magna Carta and the legal profession. The church is steps from two of the famous Inns, and as part of the Open London event we were able to go inside and see the old, traditional buildings that house lawyers and training lawyers.

I was happy that we’d been able to see inside a couple of the Inns, not only for curiosity of where I could have ended up, but also because the buildings are very traditional and so pretty! After enjoying a relaxing stroll through one of the gardens, we ended up back on the main street alongside the Thames. A great way to spend a few hours in the capital!

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