The first section, the Round Church, was consecrated as the headquarters of the Knights Templar on 10 February 1185 and it is assumed that King Henry II was present. The aim of the church was to protect twelfth century pilgrims making their way to Jerusalem; its circular shape emulates the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in that city. In 1240, the choir was rebuilt to accommodate the wishes of the king as his burial place, but he had changed his will and was instead buried in Westminster Abbey.
As its name would imply, the church is located within the Inner Temple. In 1608 King James granted a charter to the Inner and Middle Temples, guaranteeing them the use of the church in perpetuity. In the 17th century the building was refurbished by Wren, although it had not been damaged during the 1666 fire. It underwent further renovation in 1841, but was unfortunately fire bombed during the Blitz. After restoration it was reconsecrated in 1954 by Queen Elizabeth II.