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The Staple Inn, London: A Survivor From The Great Fire of London

Staple Inn stands proudly on the south side of High Holborn, a Tudor building that has weathered the tests of time, surviving notable events such as the Fire of London and the Blitz. This Grade I listed structure, revered by architects like Nikolaus Pevsner, is hailed as one of the most remarkable examples of timber building in London.

Dating back to 1585, Staple Inn originally served as a wool staple, a bustling hub where wool merchants conducted their trade. Over the years, it transitioned into a center for legal education, leased to the Inns of Court to train aspiring barristers. Its enduring significance in medieval London as a focal point of trade and legal education is evident in its rich history.

Remarkably, Staple Inn escaped the ravages of the Great Fire of London in 1666, surviving alongside just a handful of other structures. However, subsequent centuries saw the building undergo extensive reconstruction and restoration, particularly in the late nineteenth century under the stewardship of Alfred Waterhouse.

Despite sustaining damage from a German bomb during World War II, Staple Inn was once again restored to its former glory. Today, it boasts a distinctive timber-framed facade, adorned with stained glass windows that have stood the test of time. While it now serves as office space, housing the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, its ground-floor shops and restaurants pay homage to its storied past.

Staple Inn’s enduring legacy is a testament to its resilience and historical significance, attracting visitors from far and wide to marvel at its timeless beauty. As one of the few remaining Tudor buildings in London, it stands as a cherished landmark, inviting all who visit to step back in time and appreciate its architectural splendor.

If you wish to explore Staple Inn, you can find it at 1 Quality Court, London, WC2A 1HR.

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