Legal chambers. Built 1861 to the design of James Piers St Aubyn. Attic storey added early C20.
Reason for Listing
The Goldsmith Building is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: a well-composed and little-altered example of mid-Victorian legal chambers, designed by JP St Aubyn in his role as Surveyor to the Middle Temple, executed in quality materials and to a high standard of craftsmanship, as evident in the finely detailed stonework and handsome entrance.
* Interior: intactness of plan; retention of fittings illustrative of the building's use eg. safes and security doors; good survival of joinery and decorative features which, although standard for the period, contribute to the overall interest of the interior
* Group value and setting: the building stands in close proximity to the Temple Church (Grade I), Dr Johnson’s Buildings (Grade II) and a number of other listed buildings in this outstanding historic complex
Goldsmith Building was built in 1861 on the site immediately to the north of Temple Church, then known as Church Yard Court. The architect, James Piers St Aubyn (1815-95), who was known primarily as a church architect, was surveyor to the Middle Temple from 1815-95. He designed several buildings in the Temple, and undertook the restoration of Temple Church in 1862. The chambers were named after the author Oliver Goldsmith (1730-44) who was resident of the Temple and is buried in the Temple churchyard.
MATERIALS: Red brick and Portland stone
PLAN: The plan follows the typical layout of legal chambers, and apart from the enclosure of the rear stair at ground-floor level, has undergone little alteration. It comprises a central elliptical well stair, with a corridor to the rear (north) at each level leading to a series of chambers on the south, west and east sides. Storage rooms to rear of basement.
EXTERIOR: Three storeys high plus basement and attic. The ground floor and basement are faced in Portland stone with graduated horizontal rustication, vermiculated at basement level and smooth faced above. The upper floors are in red brick with Portland stone quoins, window architraves and moulded strings between storeys. The basement, ground and second floors have segmental-headed windows; first-floor windows have square heads with moulded cornices. The principal (south) elevation is of five bays. The bridge across the broad basement area has a curved balustrade leading to a pedimented entrance with Tuscan columns; the tympanum of the pediment is carved with the lamb and flag, the badge of the Middle Temple. The entrance has a hollow chamfered surround with a roll moulding, and a semi-circular tympanum with relief floral and scroll carving, also bearing the lamb and flag badge. Doors have been replaced. Above the entrance is a tall semi-circular headed window with a deep cill, pilasters and rusticated surround. The south-west corner bay is faced full-height in rusticated stone and accentuated by a curved oriel with paired windows and console brackets; beneath is the carved stone coat of arms of James Anderson, Treasurer of the Middle Temple. The east and west elevations are each of two bays. Windows are 2-over-2 pane wooden sashes. The three visible elevations have a hipped clay tile roof; behind this is a flat roof. The basement area is enclosed by cast-iron column railings on a low stone plinth, accessed by stone steps on the north-west side. Flanking the entrance are two pairs of stone piers; those to left carrying ornate cast-iron lamp-posts, which are missing from the right-hand pair.
INTERIOR: The stone stair has cast-iron column balusters and a mahogany handrail. Entrances to the corridors to either side of the stair have folding outer security doors. Original fittings and joinery include panelled doors and shutters, some marble fire surrounds and cast-iron grates. Strong rooms also survive (one per floor) in the corridors to the east side.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.