The Royal Courts of Justice: Illustrated Handbook


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When Queen Victoria opened the Royal Courts of Justice on 4th December 1882 she was drawing a line under a long and difficult effort to achieve a home for the Supreme Court for England and Wales. Before 1875' the courts had been housed in Westminster Hall; Lincoln's Inn and various other buildings around London and pressure had been mounting for a grand new building. In 1866 Parliament announced a competition for the design. The eleven architects competing for the contract for the Law Courts each submitted alternative designs with the view of the possible placing of the building on the Thames Embankment. The present site in The Strand was chosen only after much debate. In 1868 it was decided that George Edmund Street' R.A. was to be appointed the sole architect and it was he who designed the whole building from foundation to spires. Building was started in 1873 by Messrs. Bull & Sons of Southampton. The building took eight years to complete. Sadly' Street died before the building was opened. This charming little book, written at the time, and in the prose style of the period, was reproduced almost forty years ago and has remained in print ever since. Illustrated, and with the added embellishment of gothic titles, its place as a future collector's item is assured.