The original columns of dark Purbeck marble, seen here, were replaced with replicas after damage in WWII. There are 9 marble effigy tombs of medieval knights in the nave.
The church building comprises two separate sections. The original nave section, called the Round Church, and an adjoining rectangular section, built approximately half a century later, called the Chancel. It was designed to recall the holiest place in the Crusaders’ world: the circular Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. After the destruction and abolition of the Knights Templar in 1307, Edward II took control of the church as a Crown possession. It was later given to the Knights Hospitaller, who rented the Temple to two colleges of lawyers. Both colleges shared the use of the church. The colleges evolved into the Inner and Middle Temples, two of the four Inns of Court (the other two being Lincoln’s Inn and Gray’s Inn).