New look for Temple buildings

THE MIDDLE Temple has embarked on a £1.5 million scheme to make one of its oldest buildings structurally safe.

The project to refurbish 1-4 Middle Temple Lane has forced several chambers to find temporary homes while the work takes place. The oldest parts of the Grade I listed building, which faces onto Fleet Street, date back to 1684.

A team of specialists from the Museum of London has been hired by the Middle Temple to monitor the building work to check on finds of archaeological importance and ensure damage is kept to a minimum. The work is expected to last 18 months and will temporarily close the exit into Fleet Street for cars but not pedestrians.

Middle Temple surveyor Alan Hazelwood said the work was vital to secure the building's long-term future. "It is an expensive project, but it is something that had to be done," he said. "There is evidence that the timber frame has moved and we have got to make sure that it doesn't move again."