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TEMPLE CHURCH OF ST MARY

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The Temple Church of St Mary serves both Middle and Inner Temple. It was built by the Knights Templar in two phases. The Round Church (nave and porch) was built in 1160-85, and was designed to recall the holiest place in the Crusaders' world, the circular Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, whilst the chancel was built in 1240. Following the the Great Fire of 1666 the church, although undamaged, was refurbished by Wren in 1682 and an organ introduced for the first time. Restorations in the 19th century include those of 1825-30 by Sir Robert Smirke, 1841-3 by Sydney Smirke in collaboration with Decimus Burton, following the dismissal of James Savage, and 1862 by St Aubyn (consultant Sir George Gilbert Scott). They refaced much of the church in Bath stone, and generally left their marks everywhere. In addition in 1941 the church was severely damaged and had to be thoroughly restored, by Walter H Godfrey in collaboration with Carden and Godfrey, 1947-57. All Purbeck marble members were replaced, and the church was completely refaced internally.

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