The Inns of Court compared

What does each Inn have to offer?


      Lincoln's Inn   Inner Temple
  Middle Temple
  Gray's Inn
  Contact   020 7405 1393   020 7787 8250   020 7427 4800   020 7458 7800
  Architecture   The Old Hall was built in 1490 and the larger Great Hall in 1845, the same year as the library. The Stone Buildings are Regency. The largest Inn, it covers 11 acres. There are major renovation works going on until spring 2018.   12th-century Temple Church (shared with Middle Temple) stands opposite the modern Hall, which was built after the original was destroyed in WWII and stands on the site of an ancient hall of the Knights of the Temple.  

Grand style includes smoking rooms decked out in oak and Van Dyck paintings. The splendid Elizabethan Hall has ornate carvings and is tucked down an intricate maze of alleys and narrow streets.


  The ancient Hall and Chapel are still intact, despite suffering serious war damage. The rest is largely a 1950s red-brick recreation of the historic pre-war buildings by Sir Edward Maufe. One of the smaller Inns.
  Gardens   Always open and especially popular at lunchtimes.   Well kept and stretch down to the Thames. open to the public from 12.30 to 3pm on weekdays.   Small and award-winning, overlooking the Thames.  

Famous 'Walks' good for nearby City Law School students.



Student members

  c. 800   c. 300   c. 600   c. 300
  Total membership   c. 23,000   c. 8,000   c. 5,000   c. 5,500
  Accommodation   14 rooms in self-contained flats available for students.   Not for students.   Not for students.  

Four rooms in the Inn for BPTC students – 'residential scholarships'.


  Bar   The stylish Members' Common Room is closed until 2018 because of development work. But there's now the Old Court Room Members' Bar, open weekdays 10.30am to 10.30pm  

The Pegasus Bar has a terraced open-air area. Good for people-watching but not a place to go incognito.


  Members' lounge 'Taskers'. There's also a street food market in Fountain Court on selected dates, plus a Champagne bar in summer.   The Bridge Bar is above the gateway between South and Gray's Inn Squares. It's open to members, residents and tenants on term-time weekdays from 8am to 11pm.
  Old members   Sir Thomas More
John Donne 
• Lord Hailsham 
• Lord Denning
• Muhammad Ali Jinnah 
• Wilkie Collins
• 16 British Prime Ministers.
   Dr Ivy Williams (1st woman called to the Bar)
 Bram Stoker
 Judge Jeffreys (of 'Bloody Assizes')
 Mahatma Gandhi
 Lord Falconer
   Sir Walter Raleigh 
 William Blackstone
 Charles Dickens
 William Makepeace Thackeray
 Barbara Calvert (first woman to head a chambers)

 Sir Francis Bacon
 Thomas Cromwell
 John Bradshaw (Charles I's judge)
 Dame Rose Heilbron (1st female QC)
 Lord Bingham


  Points of interest  

Used as a prime filming location, for instance for season four of Downton Abbey. Also offers scholarships for young barristers to spend time in the ECJ, ICC and the ECHR.



Inner stands out for the resources it dedicates to outreach programmes and increasing access to the Bar. The Pegasus Trust funds members in their learning about the practical workings of common law systems in other countries. 


  Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night enjoyed its first performance here. Hall has a table made from a hatch cover from the Golden Hind. Every new barrister signs their name in a book on this table.   The first performance of Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors took place here. The ornate carved screen in the Hall is made from an Armada ship. Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt first met at dinner in Gray's Inn Hall.
  Scholarship interview process   Panel interview with no set question beforehand. Expect chat about preferred areas of practice and items of legal interest in the news. Scholarship awarded solely on merit, but all awards apart from a few top ones are means tested.   Panel interview with set question. GDL scholars entitled to automatic funding for BPTC, but can apply for higher award. Merit and academic excellence prioritised, but all awards (save for the top ones) are means tested. Read more about the Pegasus access and support scheme, which aims to open up access to the Bar and mini pupillages in particular.     Every applicant interviewed in a 15-minute panel interview that tests a range of skills. Awards based on merit and then weighted according to financial means.  

Shortlisted applicants interviewed by a three-person panel prioritising an ability to think on one’s feet over legal knowledge. Extra-curricular achievements taken into consideration – eg music, sport or overcoming adversity. Scholarships awarded on merit, then weighted by financial background.


  Scholarship money

  Over £1.5m available each year through over 200 scholarships, awards and bursaries. GDL: up to 32 scholarships averaging £4.5 to £5k. BPTC: up to 100 scholarships worth £12,750 on average. Five top awards (Mansfield scholarships) are worth minimum £20k each.

  A total of £1.7m available. GDL: two major scholarships, plus various awards totalling £183k. BPTC: seven major scholarships worth between £20k and £22k, plus further awards totalling £1.4m.

  A total of around £1.2m available. A fund of over £1.1m for BPTC scholarships and awards. A fund of £90k for GDL scholarships and awards. Overseas scholarships as well.   A total of over £895k available. GDL: 20 awards of between £1k and £8k. BPTC: 50+ scholarships and awards of between £10k and £24k. Various overseas scholarships and miscellaneous awards – eg Hebe Plunkett awards for disabled.

  Scholarship deadlines   BPTC: 3 November 2017
GDL: 4 May 2018
  BPTC: 3 November 2017
GDL: 4 May 2018
  BPTC: 3 November 2017
GDL: 4 May 2018
  BPTC: 3 November 2017
GDL: 4 May 2018