This year is the 400th anniversary of the founding of Temple in Fleet Street as a center for the legal profession – when in 1608, King James 1 granted land and buildings in The Temple, including the church to the two Inns of Court.As part of the 400th anniversary, the Temple is hosting a series of events, and the first is next weekend with a huge open-day for the general public.
Walking through the 17th century gatehouse, or any of the other entrances, visitors can appreciate Dickens’ words: ‘Who enters here leaves noise behind’. Within the Temple’s walls, buildings are steeped in history with the foundations of the Temple Church dating back to the Crusades and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night receiving its first performances in Middle Temple Hall.
The open weekend is full of events happening. There will be guided tours, the inevitable Da Vinci Code will be discussed and there will be exhibitions in the libraries. There will also be a mock trial where visitors can take on the role of a juror and see how the legal system works.
The event is free of charge.
I am putting the agenda below, as it scattered over a few pages on their website.
The guided tours are on the hour, every hour both days with Children’s tours at noon and 2pm. There is also a tour of the gardens at 3pm on both days.
Da Vinci Code fans will be delighted to hear that there is a talk at noon on the subject, with a talk on the Knights Templar at 2:30 on Saturday and repeated at 1:30pm and 3pm respectively on Sunday.
A talk by Lady Bulter-Sloss on the Inner Temple Parliament Chamber will be held at 3:30pm on Saturday (3pm on Sun by Stephen Williamson QC).
The other events are entitled Rough Justice (12:45 and 2pm), Shakespeare Cameo (repeated through most of the day) and a police dog demonstration at noon (1:30pm and 2pm on Sun).
The longer more formal events are below.
10:30 Opening ceremony on Fleet St (at the junction with Middle Temple Lane) 10:30 Mock trials, advocacy training and children's court 11:15 Schools mooting competition 1:15 Organ recital by Temple Church organists 2pm Mock trials, advocacy training and children's court 2:30 Schools mooting competition
10:30 Gates Open 10:30 Mock trials, advocacy training and children's court 11:15 Chorals Mattins in Temple Church 2pm Mock trials, advocacy training and children's court
A useful PDF time chart is available which is probably worth printing out and circling the events you want to engage in at: