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Royal Courts of Justice the Law Courts (The Royal Courts of Justice)

A Grade I Listed Building in City of Westminster, London

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Latitude: 51.5142 / 51°30'50"N

Longitude: -0.1135 / 0°6'48"W

OS Eastings: 531003

OS Northings: 181157

OS Grid: TQ310811

Mapcode National: GBR LC.PD

Mapcode Global: VHGQZ.Z6CL

Entry Name: Royal Courts of Justice the Law Courts (The Royal Courts of Justice)

Listing Date: 5 February 1970

Last Amended: 10 November 1977

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1264258

English Heritage Legacy ID: 428301

Location: Westminster, Greater London Authority, WC2A

County: London

District: City of Westminster

Electoral Ward/Division: St James's

Built-Up Area: City of Westminster

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Mary le Strand with St Clement Danes

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text

TQ 3081 SE and 3181 SW
60/7; 61/8

The Law Courts (The Royal Courts of Justice)


Law Courts. 1866 competition, won by G E Street finally in 1868, work only begun, to modified design, in 1874 when Philip Webb was Street's chief assistant and completed 1882 under final supervision of Street's son A E Street and Arthur Blomfield. Portland stone for principal Strand and west elevations, red brick back with lavish stone dressings, banding and chequerwork to east and north elevations, slate roofs. Serious, consistent and "rational" application of C13 English Gothic style, fulfilling a highly demanding brief for a monumental programme and developing a varied, but carefully balanced, composition to be seen in perspective with highly inventive detailing, despite the vast scale and a certain lack of coherence in consequence. Mainly 3 storeys. Controlled asymmetry with 6-bay east wing terminating just before end in lofty clock tower and a 15-bay,virtually symmetrical composition about the major axis of the main entrance and Salle des Pas Perdus of the Great Hall. The hall gable end and great window are set back behind portal archway recessed in turn between polygonal towers with slated spires. Double or triplet-shafted windows in link-ranges and in gabled bays with tourelles-bartizans. Triple arched gateway into east court acts as link to east wing.

The Great Hall gable contains a rose and is flanked by corner turrets with lucarne and gallet stone spires. The Great Hall ridge is crowned by a fleche. The east and north brick and stone elevations have more of the lively inventiveness and love of pattern of Street's earlier, smaller scale works. The lofty brick and stone north east tower was built while Philip Webb was Street's principal assistant. The major internal feature is the vast Salle des Pas Perdus, rib-vaulted and shafted with blind arcading, with rich stiff leaf carving to doorways and diapering; lancets or grouped lancets with geometrical tracery; spiral staircases lead off with courtrooms ranged on either side and to the north. Fine quality of execution throughout despite the size of the building. In the Hall a very dignified seated statue commemorating Street, by H H Armstead, was set up in 1886.

Victorian Architecture; R Dixon and S Muthesius.
London Volume I; N Pevsner.

Listing NGR: TQ3100381157

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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