There are four Inns of Court, all situated in London and close to the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand: Grays’s Inn, Inner Temple, Lincoln’s Inn and Middle Temple. Setting out fully the many functions of the Inns would be beyond the remit of this training, but the main functions follow.
There are many books written about the Inns and their history and if your Chambers occupy a building within one of the Inns (or even if they don’t), you should find them of interest and a good way to broaden your knowledge.
A very brief history of the Inns:
In the twelfth century The Temple was owned by the Knights Templars, but they fell into disfavour with the Crown in the early fourteenth century and their property was given to the Order of St John. As it was superfluous to their requirements (having vast estates elsewhere), they let it out to the people who learnt, taught and practises law, who themselves had been excluded by the City of London. They flourished and formed themselves into societies, which they called the Inns of Court.