This Day In London’s History
1882: The Royal Courts of Justice on The Strand are opened by Queen Victoria.
The impressive gothic spectacle that is the building for the Royal Courts of Justice was designed by George Edmund Street (who was, appropriately enough, a solicitor before he became an architect) and built in the 1870s. Also known as the Law Courts, the building is home to England’s primary civil court, dealing with some of the nation’s most important non-criminal cases.
Although a large number of architects competed for the contract, Street was named as the building’s sole architect and designed the main building in its entirety. Unfortunately the construction’s schedule did not run smoothly, with significant industrial action interfering with progress. It is widely believed that the stress of this project was a contributing factor in Street’s death in December 1881 – one year before the completed building was opened by Queen Victoria.
The scale of the Royal Courts of Justice building is often not fully appreciated – even though the building is obviously quite impressive from the outside, not everyone will completely realise the magnitude of its interior features. Housing over one thousand rooms (of which 88 are court rooms) and more than three miles of corridors, the building has to be seen to be believed. Fortunately this is usually quite possible, as the public are permitted to enter the building free of charge, where they can (quietly) view most ongoing court proceedings.
Londoner Of The Week
We may have already given her a big plug in the last few days, but frankly anyone who is trying to promote a chain-reaction of all-pervasive ‘niceness’ on the streets of our oftentimes grumpy city deserves all the praise that we can muster. We like the idea that niceness begets niceness, so Liz Ackers of Team Nice, we salute you.
One Thing You Must Do In London This Week
You might already be sick of Christmas parties, but now that December is here you should be aware that it’s only going to get worse. If you can’t beat them, join them – this Wednesday sees the Sloane Shopping Area Christmas Party, which takes over the “entire Sloane area – including Sloane Square, Duke of York Square, Sloane Street, Pont Street and Ellis Street” from 5-8pm. Highlights include complimentary rickshaw transportation around the area, a variety of food and drink, street performers, carols from The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and various choirs, and the late opening of some of the posh shops in the area that will be “creating special Christmas themed shopping incentives”.
If, like us, you can only bear to shop for Christmas presents whilst drunk, this could be a cunning way of killing two birds with one stone.
Picture taken from Ruvjet!’s Flickr photostream under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.