About Temple Church
The Temple Church in Central London is named after the Knights Templar, who founded it in the twelfth century.
Consecrated on 10 February 1185, probably in the presence of King Henry II, Temple Church became the British headquarters of this famous Christian charitable and military order who played an important role in the Crusades.
This first section of the Temple Church is now known as the Round Church, built in a circular form so as to echo the shape of Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Despite having once been favoured by the monarchy, in the fourteenth century, the Knights Templar were forcibly dissolved in accordance with orders from the Pope and Temple Church became the property of the Knights Hospitaller. The Knights Hospitaller then rented the Temple Church to two legal colleges. These two colleges, now known as the Middle and Inner Temples, have been located there ever since.
Today, Temple Church is a working church and is open to the public. Sadly, much of it was destroyed in a German air raid in World War II, but it has since been restored. One of the highlights of the visit is seeing the unique effigies of ten knights on its floor, each with individual characteristics.
As discussed in the Dan Brown novel, “The Davinci Code”, which sets a very powerful scene at the site, these effigies do not mark the locations of actual tombs.