The idea for a new Royal Courts Building was conceived in the year 1866. It was followed by an announcement by the Parliament. The Parliament decided to conduct a competition for all the architects who wished to design the new structure; the only condition was the winner would be an architect who was also a lawyer. Mr. George Edmund Street was the winner.
The design was ready by 1873. Mr. Street’s design was Victorian Gothic. It took 8 years to build the structure. The Parliamentary officials brought in workers from other European countries to complete the work. The building was opened by Queen Victoria in the December of 1882.
The main entrance of the Royal Courts of Justice has two very ornate porches fitted with iron gates. The cavernous Great Hall is built in cathedral nave style. It exhibits soaring arches and breathtaking stained glass windows. These stained glass windows feature coats of arms of Lord Chancellors and Keepers of the Great Seal. The mosaic marble floor is also beautiful.
Several extensions were made to the building within 30years after its completion. It was done to increase rooms for divorce courts. This building is known as the West Green Building. Again in 1968, the Queen’s Building was added. It provided additional rooms. The Thomas More building was added to cater to several other needs.
The Royal Courts of Justice is one of the most important buildings in London today. Its Gothic design and stained glass windows are a visual treat for tourists. Today it stands proudly bearing witness to the rise of Britain.