The Inner Temple Library

       

 

  Home
  Contacts
  Opening Hours
  Location
  Using the Library
  Collections
  Loans
  Online Services
  Wi-Fi
  Document Supply Services
  Library Newsletter
  Guides
  Transcripts: A Guide to
Sources
  Slide Shows
  Library History
  Inner Temple
  Inner Temple Archives
  Inner Temple Education
  Inner Temple History
  Temple Church
  Inns of Court Libraries
  Site Map
  A to Z Index
 

 

Copyright © 2013
Inner Temple Library
Legal Notice
Privacy Policy

 

The Gardens

Between the hall and the river, the medieval Temple consisted of gardens or fields, where members might seek recreation. They were known for their fine rose-bushes, and according to Shakespeare - whose story has not yet been corroborated by contemporary evidence - the wars of the roses began there. In 1601 the Inner Temple gardens were newly laid out with 'large and lovely walks . . . ornified with beautiful banks, curious knots and beds of fragrant flowers, and sweet herbs of sundry scents'. The decorated railings included, by 1618, carvings of the Inner Temple pegasus and the Gray's Inn griffin, in token of an ancient amity between the two inns. Both beasts are to be seen on the present wrought iron gates, erected in 1730. In the gardens are a sundial of 1707, and two cisterns dating from 1774. After Clement's Inn was destroyed, a kneeling leaden blackmoor by Van Ost was transferred from its gardens to those of the Inner Temple. Near the pond is a more recent lead statue of a boy (1928), by Margaret Wrightson, with a quotation from Lamb's essay on the old benchers of the Inner Temple ('Lawyers, I suppose, were children once').


 

Wrought ironwork on the garden gate.
By Richard Ellis, 1730.
Image copyright The Inner Temple

 

The walks were divided into two by the extension of Paper Buildings. On the eastern side were the King's Bench Walks, named after the King's Bench office which was kept there, and the Lower Walks; on the west side were the Gardens proper. In the eighteenth century, the walks were made into a single avenue, now known as King's Bench Walk, incorporating the former Exchequer Court at the northern end. It was a place frequented by attorneys for outdoor consultations with their clients.

The gardens led down to the river, and to the wharf (known since the fourteenth century as Temple Bridge or Temple Stairs) from which lawyers and others could take the morning barges to Westminster Hall. When the Thames embankment was constructed in 1767-70, the gardens were extended and a special wharf was erected for the use of the two Temple societies, preserved when the Victoria Embankment was created a century later.

Back  |  Inner Temple History  |  The Buildings

 

 

 

 

 
 
News
Latest News from Inner Temple Library
Legal Research Training Sessions for Pupils
 
Search
The Library Catalogue

 

Tour
Virtual Tour of the Library

 

FAQs
Frequently Asked Legal Research Questions 

 

Current Awareness
Legal News selected by Inner Temple Library

 

AccessToLaw.com: Legal Resources selected
& annotated by Inner Temple Library