Coachlines - June 2024

28.06.24 Honorary Assistant Richard Robinson

A private tour of the Inner Temple Gardens and Temple Church

The Master, accompanied by 17 Liverymen and their guests had a wonderful tour of one of London’s greatest hidden gems, steeped in history but still serving a key function today.

The Inner Temple has existed since the 14th century and, with the other Inns of Court, holds the exclusive right to call students to practise law at the Bar of England and Wales.

The private tour commenced with a visit to the heart of Inner Temple, the Treasury Building, kindly guided by Jacquline Fenton, Memberships and Records Assistant. Jacquline took the group to see the Drawing Room, Parliament Chamber, Luncheon Room and Inner Temple Hall, sharing her knowledge of the art, history and function of the rooms as well as the workings of the Inner Temple in its role of calling student to the Bar.

This was followed by a tour of the Inner Temple Gardens, guided by Head Gardener, Sean Hankin. First laid out in 1601, the gardens are an oasis of peace between the Victoria Embankment and Fleet Street. The three-acre site includes sweeping lawns, spectacular herbaceous borders, and many unusual and ancient trees. Sean explained this history and went on to take the group though the evolution of the garden under his tenure, towards becoming a more naturalistic and biodiverse space, with points of interest all year round. Sean kindly shared his gardening tips whilst fielding a number of questions from green-fingered attendees.

The final stop was the Temple Church itself, one of the most historic and beautiful churches in London. Built by the Knights Templar, the earliest part was consecrated in 1185 by the patriarch of Jerusalem. The group was guided through the centuries of its history by The Reverend Robin Griffiths-Jones, Valiant Master of the Temple, who is also a world leading expert on the history of the Knights Templar and the Tempel Church. His talk was both informative and entertaining.