Temple, the, district of the City of London, England. The name refers to two of the four Inns of Court, the Middle Temple and the Inner Temple. The Temple was originally the English seat of the famous order of Knights Templars. The Inner Temple hall and library and the Temple Church—a Norman round church dedicated in 1185—have been restored in their original styles following severe damage in World War II. The Temple Bar is the gate designed by Christopher Wren c.1672 on the site of the bar or chain that marked one of the entrances to the City of London. The Bar was removed in 1878 and is now in Theobalds Park near Waltham; there is a monument on the old London site, at the junction of Fleet St. and the Strand. Here the lord mayor officially receives personages from outside the City. In the 17th and 18th cent. heads of traitors were displayed there.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.