Somewhere amidst the traffic and fumes of High Holborn, there is a narrow archway. Venture through, and you will discover the green serenity of Gray’s Inn, one of London’s four Inns of Court. Away from the main drag of the City, the Inn's ancient squares are hushed, save for the slap of leather soles on cobblestones, murmured conversations – and the screams of 300 schoolchildren doing handstands on the lawn.
From September next year, Gray’s Inn will be home to a new private junior school. City of London School for Girls has teamed up with City of London School to create a mixed establishment for seven to 11-year-olds, based in the former City School of Law building. According to the school’s marketing video, children will be able to ‘make the most of all that Gray’s Inn has to offer’, including lunchtime in the main hall and playtime on the Walks. Meanwhile, the main school building will undergo ‘major refurbishment’ before it welcomes an initial cohort of 75 students in 2022. From 2025, approximately 300 pupils are expected.
Given the Inn currently opens its gardens to the public for just two-and-a-half hours a day, the opening may be something of a gear-change to existing residents. Perhaps working from home is not so bad, after all.