Public gardens of The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, commonly known as Middle Temple. One of the four Inns of Court exclusively entitled to call their members to the English Bar as barristers; the others being the Inner Temple, Gray’s Inn and Lincoln’s Inn.
It is located in the wider Temple area of London, near the Royal Courts of Justice, and within the City of London. In the 13th century, the Inns of Court originated as hostels and schools for student lawyers. The Middle Temple is the western part of “The Temple”, the headquarters of the Knights Templar until they were dissolved in 1312; the awe-inspiring Temple Church still stands as a “peculiar” (extra-diocesan) church of the Inner and Middle Temples.
There has never been an “Outer Temple”, apart from a Victorian-era office block of that name: an order of 1337 mentions the “lane through the middle of the Court of the Temple”, used by chancery justices and clerks on their way to Westminster, which became known as Middle Temple Lane and probably gave its name to the Inn.