A group of 20 congregated in the forecourt at 11.am to enjoy a guided tour of the environs and the internal rooms & great hall. Middle Temple is one of the four Inns of Court together with Inner Temple, Lincoln’s Inn & Greys Inn. Founded initially by the Knights Templars, who were all priests & therefore amongst some of the few who could read & write at that time. They evolved over time into training establishments for Barristers which is their major function to this day. Training took place after dinner in the hall & this is why all trainees have to attend a number of dinners each year. The Great Hall is a majestic double-barrelled vaulted ceilinged wooden Elizabethan hall lined with Coates of arms in the many panels. Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night was first performed here with him in the cast. The hall survived both the Great Fire of London & the Second World War bombing. We enjoyed a three course Lunch with wine & coffee before proceeding to the Temple Church. Some of it was damaged in the war but it has been skilfully restored. The Knights were intimately involved in forcing King John to sign the Magna Carta & there are documents & panels of information regarding that & the American Constitution which flowed from it.
All very interesting & a fascinating insight into our history. Many Thanks to Tony Field for setting up this visit.