I spent a lot of time on my last London trip around Fleet Street and the Strand and one of my favourite buildings to photograph was most definitely the Royal Courts of Justice. It’s a large Victorian Gothic building which was built in the 1870s and opened by Queen Victoria in 1882.
George Edmund Street was the architect of the building, beating out ten other architects for the job in 1868 though work didn’t actually begin until 1874; it was finished in 1882. Street had died at this point, reportedly due to the stresses of the job, so his son oversaw the final building work.
The building is very impressive, reminiscent of a grand cathedral with its towers and archways. One of the largest courts in Europe it houses the High Court and the Court of Appeal of England and Wales (criminal cases are held elsewhere at the Old Bailey).
One of the highlights of the exterior is the clock, apparently one of only eight Janus (double faced) clocks in Europe. It’s a very pretty clock often overlooked by busy commuters, decorated with the sun, moon and stars and would have been illuminated by gas pipes.
It is possible to go on a tour of the courts so I will certainly look into doing that on my next London trip. For now, you can find more of my photos here.