"we scull past the gardens of the Inner Temple"

Inner Temple gardens and buildings today
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeInner Temple gardens and buildings today - Credit: David/wikimedia commons

The Inner Temple began as a Templar building in the 12th century. A group of lawyers came to live there in the 13th century as legal advisors to the Templars. When the Templar Order was disbanded, the land was given to the Knights Hospitaller, a holy Order who provided medical aid in Jerusalem. The Hospitallers did not live there, but earned money through rent instead. The lawyers remained in the old buildings, one group occupying the consecrated inner buildings (inner inn), and the other moving into the unconsecrated buildings between the inner inn and the Outer Temple. The former became the Inner Temple and the latter the Middle Temple. By the Elizabethan age it had become a large centre for the teaching and selecting of barristers, and extensive building projects and beautification had taken place there.