Tag Archives: dickens

Dickens Walk – Part 3

The law was also a subplot in the novel Our Mutual Friend, and some of the action was focused on the Temple area. Eugene Wrayburn and his friend Mortimer Lightwood had their chambers here, and it was where school master Bradley Headstone stalked Wrayburn night after night. The gate below leads from the river into Middle Temple.

Middle Temple Lane

The Inner and Middle Temples are now filled with law chambers, but there was a time when the area belonged to the Knights Templar, hence the name. Consequently, it’s one of the oldest lanes still existing in London today. In the late afternoon, it’s a peaceful place for a stroll.

Middle Temple Lane

Dickens Walk – Part 1

It seems like most of my posts from London have been about the past. Well, I’m not going to stop now!

Being in London, one 19th Century author’s novels became very real – Mr. Charles Dickens. It hit me every day as I walked through the East End that I was walking the same streets that he, and his characters, walked – Fagin’s Saffron Hill and Bleeding Heart Yard in Little Dorrit is literally around the corner. But I’m not going to linger on the East End in this series of posts, but on the law district of London, which form the core of many of Dickens’s novels, such as Bleak House and Our Mutual Friend.

The first place is Lincoln’s Inn, where the old courts of the Chancery used to be. Below is the ‘new’ hall, built in the 19th Century. The old hall across the way was built in Tudor times and was used for chancery sittings up until then.

Lincoln's Inn

The Court of Chancery was the focus of Bleak House. It was where wills were contested and settled – except that cases could last a lifetime, or even several lifetimes – and people literally went insane waiting for a settlement that never came.

On a sunny spring-ish day, all of this bleakness seemed a bit far off, if it weren’t for the fleets of lawyers trundling boxes and folders to court.

Clerkenwell – Part 2

Let’s take a walk around Clerkenwell. By Clerkenwell Green is St James’s Church. It was built on top of St Mary’s Benedictine Nunnery after its dissolution at the time of Henry VIII and is a major landmark in Clerkenwell.

St James

Around the corner is the School Keeper’s entry to was a rather grand old school.

Clerkenwell Sights

There were many flats and terraces, of various ages. These terraces may be Georgian.

Clerkenwell Sights

Hubby however was interested in pubs. This one was tiny inside, and looked as if it hadn’t been redecorated since 1720. In Victorian times, it was a coffee house, where the intellectuals of the day met, such as Samuel Johnson, Handel and Dickens.

Clerkenwell Sights