Royal Courts of Justice

Architects: George Edmund Street

Audio described tour for Open House London 2013 led by Di Langford and Jenny Morris, Operational Business Support Manager from the Royal Courts of Justice.

Queen Victoria opened the Royal Courts of Justice on 4 December 1882 after nine years of construction.
George Edmund Street RA designed the whole of the building from foundation to varied carvings and spires but sadly died aged 57 before the building was completed, possibly because of the stress of the task. His son was left to add the finishing touches including installation of electricity. The Royal Courts of Justice was the first building in London to have electricity.
The construction of this Grade I listed building took just over 9 years to build at a cost of just under £1,000,000; over 35 million Portland Stone bricks were used in the construction and the project was funded from the estates of people who died intestate.
At the centre of the main building is the Grand Hall, 340 feet long, 48 feet wide and 82 feet high. The entrance is probably one of the most well-known facades in the world.
Under the umbrella of the Royal Courts of Justice are housed some of the highest courts in the land, presided over by 150 of the most senior members of the Judiciary including The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, The Master of the Rolls, The Vice Chancellor and the President of the Family Division.
You can find out more about the workings of the Courts at

Audio playlist