This is the eighth in a series of posts comparing photos of London taken by Henry Dixon in the 1870s and 80s with the same view today. Use our Google map to see where they were taken.
Inner Temple, on Fleet St, is one of the four Inns of Court in central London: associations which since the 14th century have played a central role in recruiting and training barristers. The Inns of Court (Inner Temple, Middle Temple, Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn) hold the exclusive rights to call candidates to practise law at the bar of England and Wales. Many of their picturesque quadrangles and courts, just a few yards from busy thoroughfares, are surprising havens of quiet, lacking any modern buildings.
The top picture is Dixon's. A zoomable version of this image is on our Online Gallery. Writing about the building in 1880, Alfred Marks commented: "The plumes of feathers in the panels between the first and second floors were intended as a compliment to Henry, Prince of Wales". The unusually bold advertisement linking the hair-cutting salon with Henry VIII and Cardinal Wolsey "...can only be accounted for by supposing that the author of the inscription confused this Gatehouse with that of the Middle Temple, with which... Wolsey's name is indeed connected."
Below it is the same view as it appeared in August 2009. The shop next to the gateway is still a hairdresser, just as it was in the 1870s. However, then you could have a trim for sixpence, roughly a tenth of a decent day's wage for a labourer. Similar cut-price tonsures can be had today for £7 in many places in London; but the Inner Temple salon of 2009 is a little more upmarket, with prices ranging from £35-£70.