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The Temple Church

As part of Open House London, the Temple Church was open with individuals on hand to direct visitors and answer questions. The Reverend and Valiant Master of the Temple Robin Griffith-Jones explained the history and pointed out areas of interest within the Church. The Church boasts an amazing history starting with its founding in the 1100s by the Knights Templar, an order of knights who took monastic vows and protected pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land, and witnessed major events involving William Marshall, the Greatest Knight, King John and the Magna Carta, the Reformation, the Stuart Kings, and the Virginia Company Charter.

The architecture presents an interesting study as well with the original round part of the Church representing the transition from the Norman to the Gothic style. Sir Christopher Wren transformed the Church into a classical building in the 1680s but most of his additions were removed as part of the Gothic restoration of the 1840s.

There are information panels detailing the connections between the Founding Fathers of the United States of America with the Inns of Courts, as many signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were members of the Middle and Inner Temples. And that these two documents have their foundations in the concepts first set out in the Magna Carta provides a further link to an easier chapter of the Church's history. In other words, it's a place packed with history just waiting to be discovered and explored. Take the opportunity if you have it to visit not only the Church but the entire Temple complex!

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