Royal Courts of Justice are the nation's main civil courts.
Here, the High Court presides
over the most serious civil trials in the country including
divorce, libel, civil liability and appeals. Criminal
cases are handled by the Old Bailey.
The imposing Victorian Gothic
building, designed by G E Street, was opened by Queen Victoria
in 1882, the architect's finest achievement, and the last
major Gothic revival building in London.
Made from 35 million bricks
faced with Portland stone, the Royal Courts of Justice are
said to contain 1,000 rooms and 3.5 miles of corridors. The
stress of building was so great that it caused Street's early
The interior of the building
is as magnificent as the fašade.
The public are admitted to all
88 court rooms and can come and go as they please, although
Judges will not suffer interruptions when they are passing
judgement or witnesses are taking oaths.
Prominent lists in the central
hall indicate which case is being held in which court and
how far the proceedings have gone.
The Royal Courts of Justice also
contains a small exhibition of legal dress.