I don't know what we're going to do without Owen.

I'm afraid it's going to be a case of Where's the leaflet?

No leaflet, no comment. Quite a lot of people around.

Yes - which I find surprising, because I always think this is one of those secret parts of London, which you would only come to if you already knew about it. It's rather hidden-away, isn't it? Perhaps all these people are associated with the Inns of Court.

I don't even really know what the Inns of Court are.

Well, two of them are called Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and this is the Temple Church.

Is there an Outer Temple?

Not that I know of.

Isn't there? I think there ought to be. How can you have a Middle Temple and an Inner Temple, but no Outer Temple? It's not right. I feel short-changed.

Through a pointed mediaeval arch into an unexpectedly bland and honey-coloured space.

This is brighter than I thought it would be.

Organ-music again.

Perhaps it's the same organist, following us around London.

Actually it's an organ-lesson, isn't it?

Is it?

There are two of them up there.

Maybe they're just playing a duet.

No, they keep stopping and starting. I think the older one's teaching the younger one.

That's a supposition, isn't it? What if the younger one's teaching the older one?

No, the older one must be a music teacher. He's got grey hair and a jumper. I think I even caught a glimpse of half-moon glasses.

Is that the uniform?

Absolutely. It's de rigeur.

Have they all got grey hair and jumpers and half-moon glasses at your school, then?

If they haven't, I give them a written warning.

I said look here, I'm a very busy man, I have to catch a train to London early every morning, I have court appearances and I have briefings with clients, I don't get back until late in the evening. I can't possibly take a whole morning or afternoon off for the sake of a ten minute appointment. It's simply absurd. She said she'd have to ask the doctor. I suppose I should go to Harley Street, but I resent the expense. They were open on a Saturday until a few years ago.

My impression of this place is that everything below about ten feet is genuinely Mediaeval, and everything higher than that has been restored. Which means that from about ten feet up, it all gets very tasteful and insipid.

I think it was bombed during the war. It does seem to be a magnet for tourists, though. This must be the busiest church we've been in today. Certainly the busiest since St Martin-in-the-Fields.

Yes, and I notice with some alarm that quite a lot of them have got bigger cameras than me. I've just spent four hundred quid on what I thought was a really professional-looking camera, with more buttons on it than you can shake a stick at, only to find myself trumped by a bunch of geeky-looking tourists in an insipid church.

I don't think you should feel inferior. They've probably just got ordinary-sized cameras with bigger lenses on them.

But that's even worse. That means I might have to spend another hundred and fifty quid on a fancy new camera lens, in order to keep up.

You could always abandon the whole idea of keeping up.

What, and spend the rest of my life suffering from camera envy?

Well, after all, some cameras are naturally larger than others.

Web 2 isn't about products, it's about services. It's about offering people opportunities to do the things they want. Look at Google. Look at YouTube, look at Facebook, look at MySpace. They don't sell people things, they enable people to do things. You put a framework in place, or a, you know, a facility - and if it's something people want, something people are interested in, then you get the big numbers. So I feel as if this project is, you know, it's in tune with the zeitgeist.

I like the faces on the wall up at this end.

So do I. They're rather an odd mixture, though, aren't they?

Saints, devils, kings and gargoyles. Some gazing calmly ahead, some raising their eyes to heaven, some sticking out their tongues, some grimacing or sneering, some with mouths downturned on woe or anguish, some smiling serenely, some grinning wickedly.

They remind me of the bit in C S Lewis's book The Magician's Nephew, where the two children find themselves looking at a long row of kings and queens, who are sitting on their thrones in a sort of suspended animation.

Oh yes, I remember.

And at the beginning of the row, the faces are wise and happy; then they get wise and sad; then they become wise and proud; and as the children walk down the row, eventually pride takes over completely, until right at the end they come to a tremendously fierce, proud, selfish and beautiful woman who turns out, when they wake her up, to be the White Witch. These faces could almost be the inspiration for that part of the book, except that these ones are all jumbled together, instead of arranged in order.

But they're odd, though, aren't they? They're not even all carved in the same style.

No. Some of them are quite realistic. They look as if they might be based on actual people.

But then again, some of them are grotesque, like cartoons. And they don't seem to quite belong in this wall, do they?

I wonder if they were rescued from the rubble when the church was bombed, and incorporated into this wall when it was restored.

Oh yes. That could be it.

If only we had a leaflet.

Do you think all these stone figures on the floor are Knights Templar?

I should think so, wouldn't you? They certainly look like knights.

Do you know anything about the Knights Templar?

As a matter of fact I do. They were one of the military orders set up during the Crusades, along with various others such as the Knights Hospitaller and the Knights of St John. Initially their main function was to protect pilgrims en route to Jerusalem. Later on they developed a private army, which was meant to be very tough and efficient.

Did you get all of this from The Da Vinci Code?

Some of it, but I've read some of the history too. They also became landowners and financiers, and effectively a state-within-a-state throughout Europe. Then people started to dislike them. In the end even the Pope turned against them. A lot of them were arrested on trumped-up charges and tortured by the Inquisition.


But they had a pretty good run for their money. They must have been around for a couple of hundred years.

So are these stone figures on the floor crusaders, do you think?

Oh, probably. I should think so. And the reason why this end of the church is round is because it's modelled on the Temple in Jerusalem. All the churches the Templars built have a round end to them like this, apparently.

Well, that's all very interesting. But what's their connection with the law? Why are two of the Inns of Court called Inner Temple and Middle Temple?

I don't know the answer to that, I'm afraid. I think the church was probably here prior to the Inns of Court being established - so perhaps Inner Temple and Middle Temple are named after the church.

When were the Inns of Court established, then?

Well, I don't know that either. A bit later on, I think. Perhaps during the Plantagenet era.

Whenever that was.

Yes, quite.

If only Owen were still here.

I'm afraid he mightn't be able to help us either. His speciality is seventeenth and eighteenth century architecture, not Mediaeval history. I think it's appalling, really, how little we know about the history of our own country. You and I are supposed to be educated men...

Most of my knowledge of Mediaeval history comes from Shakespeare.

Mine too.

But the truth is, I'm fairly ignorant about everything. Even literature, which I studied at university. I can get out of my depth in no time.