Lonely Planet review for Staple Inn
The 16th-century shop-front facade is the main interest at Staple Inn (1589), the last of eight Inns of Chancery whose functions were superseded by the Inns of Court in the 18th century. The buildings, mostly postwar reconstructions, are now occupied by the Institute of Actuaries and aren’t actually open to the public, although nobody seems to mind a discreet and considerate look around. On the same side of Holborn but closer to Fetter Lane stood Barnard’s Inn, redeveloped in 1991. Pip lived here with Herbert Pocket in Dickens’ Great Expectations.