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About the RCJ Legal Costume Collection

The permanent exhibition of the RCJ Legal Costume Collection is housed in the majestic, neo-gothic setting of the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand in the centre of London's legal quarter.

The Exhibition was opened in 1974  by Lord Hailsham, then the Lord Chancellor. Its objective was and remains to compile, if possible, a record of every surviving form of historic judicial and legal costume. It is  the largest  and most comprehensive collections of its type in the country.


There exhibition is divided into three sections: the Main or Carey Street site is located at the far end of the building from the Strand entrance on the First Floor. From here you can walk to the Hailsham section (near the West Gallery) which houses robes and memorabilia belonging to Lord Hailsham. The third section, the Strand display, is located to the right as you enter the main entrance from the Strand.​

The Exhibition is open to the public at all times when the Courts are open
(see the Visit page for more information). Admission is free, and paid tours of the exhibition can be arranged via our Contact page.   

Additionally there are two costume stores located on the first floor housing a significant reserve and loan collection.

Conservation is essential to preserve the costume items for longevity - this is carried out by Zenzie Tinker Conservation (find out more on our Conservation page). The exhibition is run entirely by volunteers as a charity and is dependent on donations to maintain and preserve its outstanding collection - a donations box is provided in the Main Exhibition section, but look out for ways to donate via this website soon.

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