Victorian London - Publications - History - The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896 - The New Public Record Office, Chancery Lane

The New Public Record Office, Chancery Lane - photograph


Chancery Lane, leading from Fleet Street to Holborn, is one of the best known thoroughfares in London; for litigation is a common weakness of mankind. The most noteworthy building in the Lane, from an architectural point of view, is the new Public Record Office, built to supplement the large structure behind it in Fetter Lane. Mr. John Taylor, C.B., of her Majesty's Office of Works, was the architect of this Gothic pile, which has cost about 80,000, and is believed to be absolutely fire-proof. Until the Fetter Lane office was completed, in 1866, State papers and legal records were huddled away in admired confusion in the Tower, the Chapter-House of Westminster Abbey, the Rolls Chapel in Chancery Lane, and other places; since then much has been done in the way of bringing order out of chaos. The most famous of the documents is the Conqueror's Domesday Book, in two parchment volumes.