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 Temple Church still stands as a church of the Inner. Most of the Inn is occupied by offices, known as chambers. One of the Middle Temples main functions now is to provide education, Middle Temple Hall is at the heart of the Inn, and the Inns student members are required to attend a minimum of 12 qualifying sessions there. Qualifying sessions, formerly known as dinners, combine collegiate and educational elements and will combine an dinner or reception with lectures, debates, mooting. Middle Temple Hall is also a venue for banqueting, weddings, receptions. In recent years, it has become a much-used film location—the cobbled streets, historic buildings, william Shakespeares Twelfth Night received its first recorded performance here, at the feast Candlemas in 1602. Middle Temple Library possesses Emery Molyneuxs terrestrial and celestial globes, which are of particular historical cartographical value, Middle Temple is also one of the few remaining liberties, an old name for a geographic division. It is an independent extra-parochial area, historically not governed by the City of London Corporation, the Middle Temples functions as a local council are set out in the Temples Order 1971. It geographically falls within the boundaries and liberties of the City, some of the Inns buildings lie just outside the liberty of the Middle Temple and the Citys boundary, and are actually situated in the City of Westminster. Quadrant House was acquired by the Middle Temple in 1999 and after five years of conversion is now a barristers chambers and this lies outside the liberty but is within the City of London. List of members of Middle Temple Outer Temple Pump Court Middle Temple website
Middle Temple Hall
Fountain Court, at the heart of Middle Temple
Part of Middle Temple, c. 1830, as drawn by Thomas Shepherd. The great hall is beneath the cupola.