Temple Church and Middle Temple Hall

Audio-described architecture tour for Open House London 2015 led by VocalEyes Describer Jane Brambley with John Shearer, the Verger, Temple church and Murry Baker, Education Services Manager, Treasury Office, Middle Temple Hall.

Temple Church

Medieval architecture meets Sir Christopher Wren’s refurbishments in this awe-inspiring building, the Mother Church of the common law. Step into the space where William Marshall and his liege King John would have debated and agreed clauses of the Magna Carta.
Temple Church was built by the Knights Templar, the order of crusading monks founded to protect pilgrims on their way to and from Jerusalem in the 12th century.
The Church is in two parts: the Round and the Chancel. The Round Church was consecrated in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary on 10 February 1185 by Heraclius the patriarch of Jerusalem.
It was designed to recall the holiest place in the Crusaders’ world: the circular Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. It is a numinous space – and has a wonderful acoustic for singing.
Temple church is one of the most historic and beautiful churches in London. With eight hundred years of history: from the Crusaders in the 12th century, through the turmoil of the Reformation and the founding father of Anglican theology.

Middle Temple Hall

Middle Temple Hall was built between 1562 and 1573 and remains virtually unchanged to this day having survived the Great Fire of London and both World Wars.
Middle Temple Hall is one of the finest examples of an Elizabethan hall in the country with a double hammer beam roof carved from the oak of Windsor Forest and an elaborately carved screen made in 1574.
The traditional oak panelled walls are festooned with Coats of Arms and the impressive windows are made from heraldic glass memorials to notable Middle Templars.
The bench table at Middle Temple Hall is believed to have been a gift from Elizabeth I. It is 29 feet long and made from a single oak tree which was floated down the Thames from Windsor Forest.