Lincoln’s Inn Undercroft by William Dacres Adams

9890 William Dacres Adams (1864 – 1951)

Undercroft, Lincoln’s Inn Chapel


Circa 1920

Oil on canvas

Signed lower right, DACRES ADAMS

Now in George II carved and gilded frame


Canvas height: 20 ins (50 cms), Width: 24 ins (61 cms)

Overall height: 27 ins (68.5 cms), Width: 31 ins (79 cms)



William Dacres Adams was born in Reading and educated at Radley, Exeter College, Oxford and the Birmingham School of Art. He was a painter and lithographer of portraits and architectural subjects, greatly influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites with whom his father was closely acquainted. He was elected a member of the Royal Portrait Society and was Associate Societie Nationale de Beaux Arts. Dacres Adams’ work was exhibited extensively at the Fine Art Society, the Royal Academy and the Royal Institute.


Located just North of the Royal Courts of Justice in Holborn, Lincoln’s Inn dates back to 1422. It is made up of the four inns of court (Lincoln’s Inn, Gray’s Inn, Inner Temple and Middle Temple) that house professional barrister of England and Wales. The Inns form little villages, all an eclectic mix of architectural styles.

The subject of our painting is the spectacular undercroft of the chapel at Lincoln’s Inn with its rib-vaulted ceiling. The undercroft was long a place of burial and many gravestones can still be seen. This includes John Thurloe (1616-1688) who was Oliver Cromwell’s Secretary of State and spymaster. He had chambers at the Inn.

In the 18th century, the undercroft became a place for people to leave their unwanted babies. The records of the Inn show payments to people to care for the abandoned children, who would usually be given the surname ‘Lincoln’.

Lincoln’s Inn Undercroft by William Dacres Adams