We’ve just finished another very interesting picture. This commission was for the Chambers of Orlando Pownall QC at 2 Hare Court in the Inner Temple, right in the heart of the famous Inns of Court in London.
Number 2 Hare Court has, as a building, been a haven for many illustrious barristers since its construction in 1893. The Queen Anne revival style building stands on the site formerly occupied by another building also known as Hare Court, constructed in 1567 by Nicholas Hare, Speaker of the House of Commons under Henry VIII. The original Hare Court is primarily associated with Judge Jeffreys, the notorious “hanging judge”, known for the brutality of his conduct on the Bench in the 1660s.
Today’s barristers at Hare Court are an altogether more sanguine lot, and decided after re-decorating their reception area, that they would like their clients and visitors to be given a little insight into the great history of the chambers.
The Temple area of London represents a fascinating side of the City’s vast history. I had walked through the tranquil courtyards and passageways that form the Inns of Court many times, always marvelling at the fantastic variety of architectural styles and types of building. From the famous Temple Church, built in the 12th century, with its Round chancel designed to recall the holiest place in the Crusaders’ world; the circular Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, to E. M. Barry’s ‘fantastically elaborate French Renaissance’ Temple Gardens Building constructed in 1875 near the river at the end of Middle Temple Lane, the area has an almost magical serenity compared to the bustle of Fleet Street nearby. It was great to be introduced to those who work in such an environment and to learn so much about the life of the place.
I expect that those who look at our ARCHISTORY picture, now hanging in the reception area of the chambers, and read the history we have written will be waiting there with important matters in mind. Hopefully a glance at this work will help to pass the time.
On the whole, our work is usually commissioned by private home owners who are fascinated by the chance to unlock the secrets of their home. It seems that there might be an entirely new market for us in creating drawings for clients whose buildings contain reception areas or waiting rooms where the visitors would be interested to know a little more about the property they are in.