The Temple church is one of the oldest – and oddest – in London. It used to also be one of the quietest until Dan Brown featured it in The Da Vinci Code. It is now often besieged by groups of slightly baffled looking visitors clutching his book. It is easy to be snobby about such things but in actual fact the environs of the church – the courtyards and alleys of the Middle Temple are wonderful for everyone. I particularly like the sombre message on the sundial in Pump Court:
Sitting by the pool in Fountain court as the Autumn leaves are falling is a happy thing. It is
One thing that the Da Vinci tourists and Dan Brown (though not Dickens) miss of course is that the ancients had a rather well defined sense of humour. These images are some of the caricatures and grotesque gargoyles sprinkled amongst the saints and general worthies within the church.