Grade I listed, 5 Pump Court is one of the most historic buildings in Middle Temple. There have been people living and working around Temple since Saxon times, and the area grew in importance after the arrival of the Knights Templar in the second half of the 12th century. In February 1626, 7 members of Middle Temple petitioned the Bench for leave to rebuild chambers on the north side of Pump Court which were described as "ruinous". Further buildings, including a tailor's shop, were built in Pump Court in the 1630s.
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5 Pump Court was built by notorious property developer, Nicholas Barbon in c.1680 following a fire in January 1678 which started in Middle Temple Lane or Pump Court and burned for 12 hours destroying the buildings in Pump Court. At the time, the Thames was frozen so beer from the Temple cellars was used to try to extinguish the flames!
Barbon redeveloped a substantial portion of Middle Temple, bestowing it with the restrained Classicism that now characterises the area. There is a level change between numbers 5 and 6 which is probably due to No 6 having to maintain levels with 1 Hare Court on the north side of the building.
5 Pump Court was lucky enough to survive the Blitz, during which the southern range of Pump Court was destroyed. Brick Court (to the east of Pump Court) was also very badly damaged and Lamb Building (to the west) was destroyed completely. 5 Pump Court had to have restoration work to the roof, glass, plasterwork, panelling, walls and window frames after the war. The southern part of Pump Court and the Cloisters was reconstructed in 1952.
Today 5 Pump Court retains much of its historic fabric, including bolection moulded ainscoting and marble fireplaces to the interior, and a rare surviving timber cornice with modillions externally. One of our conference rooms has an original clerks' desk which has been in situ for hundreds of years.