Tuesday, 6 September 2011

A Secret Visit to Lincoln’s Inn, Holborn

As we were drawing to the end of our London Cab Tour, our driver Graham turned to us with a glint of mischief in his eye and said that he knew somewhere he could take us that he was quite sure we had never been before.  Graham had previously said that it was nice to have passengers that were familiar to London because we had been able to explore the city in a little more depth than usual but I could that he was itching to surprise us.

The Great Hall Lincolns Inn[3]

We drove up to an ornate gate and gained access into a private road. The guard was obviously familiar with Graham because this is not usually somewhere that members of the public can wonder around.

The Great Hall at Lincolns Inn[7]

We were in Lincoln’s Inn, Holborn and the photos above are of the Great Hall which was built in the 19th century.  In addition to being used for functions and dining, the Great Hall is where barristers are called to the bar.

Lincoln Inn[3]

Lincoln’s Inn is situated around the back of the Royal Courts of Justice and it is one of the four Inns of Court in London.  The Inns of Court are the professional associations to which barristers must belong in order to practice as barristers. 

It was all quite fancy and impressive and I just know I’ll be looking out for this beautiful, secluded location in the next episode of Law and Order UK.

Lincoln Inn Chapel[3]

There has been a chapel on this site since 1428 but it has been extensively built and rebuilt since then.  The current chapel was first built between 1620 and 1623 by the famous Inigo Jones, was rebuilt in 1685 in consultation with the equally famous Christopher Wren and was finally rebuilt in 1915.

New Square Chambers[3]

The offices around Lincoln’s Inn and New Square is where barristers have their chambers.  Barristers are the lawyers that wear the white wigs and gowns and they advocate in court.  In South Africa, we call them advocates.  The other type of lawyer is, of course, the solicitor which we refer to simply as lawyer in South Africa.  It is all quite involved which is why Law comes a close second to Economics in fields of study I really don’t get.

Lincoln’s Inn was quite beautiful and I honestly think I would be tempted to try visit there again in the future.  It really has a presence, as if the walls exude centuries of brilliance and propriety.  It is a great place for photography and an appreciation of architecture.

That should be my last post on the London Cab Tour.  I promise to take you back to Wales in my next post!

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23 comments

  1. Thanks... great memories :)

    Ages ago I took students to see Lincoln’s Inn and as much of the other Inns of Court as possible. Then we saw the Royal Courts of Justice, the church, gardens etc etc.

    Even people who had never been to this part of London felt familiar with The Inns of Court and the bewigged barristers walking around, I suppose because of Rumpole. But I am not sure where "Outer Temple" was filmed.

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  2. Hi Emm
    I am really enjoying your blog entries, especially the cab tour ones. I live in CT, but get to visit London at least once if not more a year as I have loads of English family. Can you give me the Cab phone number as when I next visit I would love to be able to do a cab tour ! Thanks a ton!
    Dawn

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  3. @ Hels: Really? You were able to set up a tour around there? That bodes well for me getting entry again in the future. Yay.

    @ Dawn: Hello! Good to meet you. Graham's telephone number is +44(0)7956-141733, email address enquiries@londoncabtours.co.uk and website London Cab Tours.

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  4. New Square is really lovely, quiet and pretty. If you liked that then you would love visiting Temple - the first Inn of Court I think. It's like another world! I included both on my Temple Tranquility self-guided walking tour - let me know if you'd like to try it out! http://www.tripstylist.co.uk/readymade/london

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  5. Last post of your tour already? I can't get tired of learning about London. How wonderful to discover new places in your own town. This recently happened to me too.

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  6. Lincoln’s Inn looks like a fantastic place to explore, I will have to sneak in one of these days and see what it's all about...

    I had a bit of wander around Greys Inn, a few weeks back, but the rain came on so I headed to the Cittie of York for a few beverages before I really got exploring.

    In Scotland we also have advocates for some reason instead of barristers.

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  7. Your cab driver sounds very cool, to have thought of taking you here. What a beautiful almost countrified spot to spend time on a sunny day.

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  8. What a lovely place! We are still looking at jobs in London - if we cant find anything we will at least be over there for a visit in the near future since Nick has family that just moved over there! In the meantime, I love reading your blog and pretending like I am already there! :)

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  9. I like this tour. Looks like a nice place and your picture with these great shadows at the chapel and the picture over makes the place even better.
    Happy weekend Emm:-)

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  10. thanks so much fot this interesting lesson, emm.

    i thoroughly enjoyed this post and your magnificent photos.

    betty xx

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  11. Love that spot. Very tranquil

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  12. There are just so many gorgeous places over there - and you know what I really envy? That emerald green, perfectly manicured lawn...it's been so hot and dry all summer, everything's kinda brown.

    Also, as an aside - I haven't had time to respond to comments individually on my blog this week, but you were wondering about my story That Ol' River. Not true as told, but I've experienced it. Unfortunately, several days after it was written, on 9/8/11 my area (NE US) was hit with catastrophic flash flooding, the worst in 35-40 years. We are pulling together, we are bailing and salvaging, and most everybody says the same thing: we will stay here. We will rebuild. This is our home. That ol' river ain't licked us yet :-)))

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  13. nice post Emm - I have seen Lincoln's Inn - it's very secluded, makes you want to be a barrister = kind of

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  14. @ Kathryn: your walks look fab! I should definitely get in touch soon and take one of them.

    @ AVCr8teur: heh. That tour is over but I promise more London posts to come this year!

    @ William: if I recall correctly, there are quite a few similarities between the South African and Scottish legal systems.

    @ Jenny: Heh. I think he just wanted to surprise us as he is used to tourists and people not familiar with London at all.

    @ Carol: Oh, good luck! It can be daunting trying to find jobs in this city. My advice would be to phone an agency specific to your profession. Stephen has interviews lined up before he left South Africa.

    @ Spiderdama: It was pretty, but I bet it would be a hive of activity on weekdays!

    @ Betty: Thank you!

    @ Mo: I'll definitely return!

    @ Li: Aaah, we were lucky enough not to get a real summer this year! So sorry to hear about your flood experiences but glad you are persevering.

    @ David: Thank you! Yeah, I can imagine it is quite an interesting profession in this country.

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  15. My office is in Holborn.
    I know the area quite well.
    Have you been to Soane Museum in Holborn?

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  16. @ London Caller: No, but I remember seeing it on your blog and thinking I must visit!

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  17. Thanks for sharing...wonderful structures and very informative! I would love to visit London someday.

    Thanks for dropping by and for noticing my new layout...have a wonderful weekend ahead!

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  18. @ Dhemz: heh, I'm just a mine of useless information! A good weekend to you too.

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  19. so peaceful and serene. it's always great to visit interesting places through your posts. i enjoy tagging along with you.

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  20. Heya! I found your blog through Wanderlust82, I'm moving to London in about a month! Looking forward to discovering the city through your posts!!!

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  21. @ Life Ramblings: and I enjoy tagging along with you too! It was serene and just lovely.

    @ Oneika: hi there! How exciting, we'll see you soon!

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  22. Ooh vip for the day then. How cool is that? Bet it was lovely knowing you were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of all this beauty.

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  23. The four Inns of Court are one of London's hidden secrets forming villages within the city for over two miles from Grays Inn to the Temple. One of my favourite memories of Lincoln's Inn was watching an open air performance of Midsummer's Night Dream where the Duke of Athens arrived "onstage" sticking out of the roof of a Vauxhall Tigra!

    http://daithaic.blogspot.com/2009/04/inns-of-court-london.html

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