Another in the occasional series on “London Settings for Shakespeare’s Plays” …
Temple (Henry VI Part I)
Temple was first recorded in the twelfth century as Novum Templum, or “the New Temple”. It takes its name from the Knights Templar of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, who relocated themselves here in the twelfth century (having previously been located in Holborn), and whose former land here became the site of the Inns of Court of Inner and Middle Temple after the order was suppressed in the early fourteenth.
The surviving Inner Temple Gate-House, a timber-framed town-house, is Jacobean, and dates to 1610-11.
The surviving Middle Temple Hall is Elizabethan, and dates to 1571. Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” premiered here in 1602. It was performed here again exactly 400 years later in 2002, with an all-male cast, authentic hand-made costumes and period music and instruments.