Watch a case at the Royal Courts of Justice From Royal Courts of JusticeLondon
Its architectural style might be pure 13th-century, but the Royal Courts of Justice was actually designed by George Edmund Street in the 1870s.
The Victorian’s love with Gothic fits well in the Strand, and has made it one of the capital’s most beloved buildings.
High-profile civil cases are contested here: financial cases, libel cases, slander and divorce. If you want to see a criminal case like a bank robbery or assault then you need to go to the Old Bailey instead.
You can often see a famous face or two giving an interview outside in front of a bank of cameras, after they descend the steps in victory… or defeat.
> Read Craig’s review of Royal Courts of Justice tour “I turned up an hour early and of course I’m soaked to the skin. What is going on with the weather lately? It’s raining every day and night. Where’s all the water coming from? I turned up at the Royal Courts of Justice and I had to squelch past security, dripping through the scanners like a fish out of water. It’s quite a sight once you get inside. The first thing you see is the colossal entrance hall and it’s like a cathedral. It’s almost worth committing a crime just to come inside. Big stone architecture, stained glass windows towering three stories above your head. Huge oil paintings of long dead judges staring down at you from the walls in their gowns and wigs… continued.”
> Read Craig’s review of watching a trial at the Royal Courts of Justice “I’m back in court again… off to see the judge this time. I’ve got my toothbrush and my pyjamas all packed in case he wants to put me away. I should be alright though – I’m only here to watch a trial. I came on a tour the other day so I thought I’d come back and see something for real. I’m sitting in the same little cafe as last time, but there’s actually some people in here now. It’s a work day so there are lots of lawyers and briefs and guilty people too. One guy has still got his white wig on like they wear inside the courtroom. He’s just queueing up like everybody else, waiting to buy his cup of tea. I wonder why they make them wear those silly wigs and gowns?… continued.”
Whilst you’re in the vicinity of the Royal Courts of Justice you could go and have a look at Temple Bar and Temple Church in Fleet Street. Somerset House is only a short walk down the Strand (home to the Courtauld Gallery). And there are a couple of nearby churches that are worth having a look at as well: St. Clement Danes and St. Dunstan-in-the-West.
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