Chancery Lane has formed the western boundary of the City of London since 1994, having previously been divided between the London boroughs of Westminster and Camden.
Chancery Lane originates from before 1161 as a ’new lane’. It was created by the Knights Templar
from the ’Old Temple’ on the site of the Southampton Buildings
, in order to access their newly acquired property (the present Temple).
The street takes its name from the historic High Court of Chancery established in 1161 when Robert de Chesney, Bishop of Lincoln, acquired the ’old Temple’.
On the eastern side was the original site of the Domus Conversorum
(House of the Converts), a residence and chapel for Jews who had converted to Christianity, founded by King Henry III in the 13th century.
The site later became the Public Record Office designed by Sir James Pennethorne in 1851. In the latter half of the 20th century, records relocated to Kew. In 2001 it underwent renovation and became the Maughan Library.
Lincoln’s Inn occupies most of the western side of Chancery Lane north of Carey Street
Some of the side streets are named after their associations with now defunct legal practices, such as Rolls Buildings
and Cursitor Alley.