Middle Temple - Dining Hall
The Middle Temple Dining Hall is one of the finest Elizabethan Halls in the country. Construction started in 1562 and it has remained virtually unaltered to the present day. The Bench table, made in one piece from three 29' oak planks floated down the Thames from Windsor, was installed before the Hall was completed. The Benchers of the Inn still dine at it as they did in the 16th century. Some of the wood from the Golden Hind was used to make the "cup-board", a table which stands below the Bench table.
Since the middle of the 14th century, the cup-board has been the centre of ceremonies. On it is laid the book which members sign when they are called to the Bar, and by it stood the Readers when each Lent and Autumn they gave their lectures. These Readings were originally intended to teach young members the law.
The Readers' coats of arms are displayed on the wood panelling around the walls of the Hall.