Inns of Court

Inns

The Inns provide support for barristers and students through a range of educational activities, lunching and dining facilities, access to common rooms and gardens and the provision of various grants and scholarships. 

Anyone wishing to join the Bar must join one of the Inns, which are responsible for "Calling" barristers to the Bar. The Inns also have a role in administering disciplinary tribunals to deal with more serious complaints against barristers.

The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn

The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn lies to the north of the Strand (and the two Temples) and to the south of High Holborn (and Gray's Inn). The present character of Lincoln's Inn owes much to the fact that its precincts and buildings - the medieval Hall and Gateway abutting onto Chancery Lane, the late seventeenth century New Square in the centre, and the magnificent Victorian gothic Great Hall and Library beside Lincoln's Inn Fields - survived nearly unscathed the devastations of the Blitz. Striking as they are, these buildings are not merely architectural and historical tourist attractions, but provide the professional home for many practising members of the Bar and educational facilities for the training of students. It is to meet those needs that the Inn exists, and on which it expends the bulk of its resources.

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The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn

The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple

Inner Temple occupies the eastern half of a site, known as the Temple, which was chosen by the crusading Knights Templar in the twelfth century as their London headquarters. The round church which they constructed there, modelled on the Church of St. Sepulchre in Jerusalem, still forms part of the Temple Church. By the mid-fourteenth century, when the royal courts became permanently sited in Westminster, the Temple had become a home for lawyers who formed two societies there, the Inner and the Middle Temple, each occupying one of the halls constructed by the Templars on the site. Their status was formally recognised in 1608, when James I granted the land jointly to them in perpetuity for the accommodation, entertainment and education of students and practitioners of the law. Although the buildings which it occupies have changed considerably over time, the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple continues to fulfil this role to the present day.

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The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple

The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple

Middle Temple occupies the western half of the land known as the Temple, formerly the London headquarters of the Knights Templar which lies between Fleet Street and the Embankment on the edge of the City of London. The Inn has occupied its present site since the mid-14th century when this Society rented the land from the Knights Hospitaller, who had acquired it following the fall of the Knights Templar. After the Reformation the Temple became the property of the Crown until 1608 when King James I conveyed the lands of the Temple to the Societies of Inner Temple and Middle Temple. The records of the Inn date back to 1501.

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The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple

The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn

There has been law teaching on the site of Gray’s Inn since the reign of Edward III. The first habitation known to have been on or close to the site of the present Hall was the Manor House of the ancient Manor of Purpoole, meaning "the market by the lake". The Manor House was the London residence of the De Gray family, who had strong links with the Wales and Chester Circuit, and a number of lawyers and their families came to live and work here and formed the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn. The Inn was heavily bombed in the second World War. In May 1941 the Hall, Chapel, Library and Offices were badly damaged. All were rebuilt after the War and, since all the original stain glass windows and wood panelling had been removed at the start of the War and sent away for safe keeping, the original interior remains the same.

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The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn