Quality Court is a courtyard, built around 1700.
A wonderful labyrinth of alleys and courts used to straggle between Chancery Lane
and Fetter Lane
, but sadly, of these dozens of minute burrows, only a handful now remain. Quality Court, as we might devise from its name, was one of the more ‘classy’ addresses in the district. It was built about 1700, although not specifically with the view of attracting the upper crust of society to its confines, but with its stylish houses and spacious accommodation that is just what happened. When the properties went up for sale they came in droves, but, of course, the dwellings were few and so the speculators made their offers to the highest bidders.
John Strype, writing up his survey in 1720 says this is ‘a very handsome, large and airy Court, lately built, with very handsome brick houses…’ It was then called New Court
but resulting from the life style of the new inhabitants was commonly known as Quality Court – much in the same way as we now refer to selected roads where the supremely wealthy reside, as ‘Millionaires Row’. Strype continues ‘for the goodness of the houses, and the inhabitants, is by some called Quality Court.’
Quality Court is still rich in quality with its old stone flag paving and potted shrubbery dotted here and there. Situated at the far end of the Court, at number 45, is the Patent Office, from where patents are issued and where the Patent Roll, recording the patents issued in the United Kingdom within any year, is kept. There is no doubting that this is Quality Court – its name is boldly displayed in wrought iron letters over its covered access in Chancery Lane