The Temple Fountain sparkled in the sun.

Brilliantly the Temple Fountain sparkled in the sun, and laughingly its liquid music played and merrily the idle drops of water danced and danced, and peeping out in sport among the trees, plunged lightly down to hide themselves.

Martin Chuzzlewit and Charles Dickens put a fine poem together in honour of the Temple Fountain, nestling beautifully amongst trees in the central courtyard of the Middle Temple Garden in London. Which I happened to discover today.

The Temple Fountain in the Temple Fountain Courtyard.  - Garden Room Style
The Temple Fountain in the Temple Fountain Courtyard.

I’ve been past this area many times so better late than never. Once upon a time it was the stronghold of the Knights Templar. The medieval order, known for their role in the Crusades and as one of the Middle Ages’ most powerful and wealthy religious orders, lived, prayed and worked here from about 1185 up until their dissolution in 1312.

Rambling roses - Middle Temple Gardens - Garden Room Style
As charming as it comes.

After that the property passed on to the Knights Hospitaller and in 1608, to the barristers. It remains the HQ of the legal profession. What is today a garden was from the beginning an orchard. There were mentioninings of roses in the 14th century and in the late 16th century a more formal design, with a top terrace and walks, was laid out. A major overhaul took place in the early 18th Century in the then popular ‘William and Mary’ Dutch style. This included enclosed rectangular lawns, dotted with trees and dissected by gravel paths. The current design as put in place after the construction of the Victoria Embankment in the late 19th century.

The Temple Fountain sparkled in the sun. - Garden Room Style
Formal garden design in the Middle Temple Garden.

Member of the public are invited to use the Middle Temple Gardens between 12-3pm, from May to September. I was very disappointed to have missed this slot by about 15 min …. But I don’t mind visiting again, this is an utterly charming space.