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The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple is an institution, community and physical environment with a rich, complex and fascinating history. From the arrival of the Knights Templar to the Inn's present position at the heart of an international network of its members, the Middle Temple has long been at the heart of countless intersecting spheres of history and culture. The rich history of the Inn is the story of one of the world's most important centres of legal education, but it is not limited to the field of law. The Inn has also functioned for much of its history as an important hub for socialising and networking, the setting for feasts and duels, politics and literature, courtly spectacle and academic discourse. The contribution of Middle Templars to the practice and study of the law spanning over eight centuries has been tremendous, but members of the Inn have achieved fame (and infamy) elsewhere too - their cultural, political, navigational, architectural and indeed revolutionary achievements are beyond number.

These pages provide an outline of some of the key periods in the history of the Inn and discuss some of the broadest themes. More detail and insight can be found in many published sources and academic literature - a body of work which grows with every year as more of the Inn's historical riches are unearthed.