spectacular black and white half-timbered structure overlooking
High Holborn is one of central London's few surviving Tudor
buildings. It dates from 1586 and, although restored,
would be still be recognisable to those who had known when
it was first built.
The building was once the wool
staple, where wool was weighed and taxed. Later it was
one of the Inns of Chancery. Today, the building no
longer serves that function; the four remaining Inns of Court
Inn and the Middle
and Inner Temple.
Beneath the overhanging frontage,
the shops at street level have the feel of the 19th century.
Through an arched entrance is a courtyard, with some 18th
century buildings. Staple Inn's courtyard has long been
known as a secluded haven away from the noise and congestion
of the capital. The 19th century American writer Nathaniel
Hawthorne wrote, 'there was not a quieter spot in England
that this', and Charles Dickens included its tranquility in
'The Mystery of Edwin Drood'.
Interior not open to the public