I had often looked up at Lady Justice gracing the roof of the Old Bailey and admired her poise and balance holding, as she does, the scales of justice and her sword, signifying that with her justice would be swift and final. She stands on a globe, for justice straddles the world.

And of course she was blindfolded, symbolising impartiality … or at least I always thought so. One day I went to a meeting high in a building opposite and looking out the window noticed, to my amazement, that she wasn’t blindfolded at all. This is hard to confirm from street level, and many people I have told about this have frankly disbelieved me, since the concept of her eyes being covered is so embedded. However, according to the Court’s brochure, merely her ‘maidenly form’ is supposed to guarantee her impartiality. She was sculpted by Frederick William Pomeroy – surely it’s no coincidence that Rumpole’s favourite watering hole was a Fleet Street wine bar called ‘Pomeroy’s’?

Lady Justice at The Old Bailey – the Central Criminal Court

Every now and then I have been lucky enough to glimpse an unusual view and actually have my camera with me at the time. Walking past Holborn Circus one day I noticed that Prince Albert on his horse seemed to be saluting a glorious sun-drenched Lady Justice.

Prince Albert salutes Lady justice

If you want to seek out a blindfolded Lady Justice there are a few to be found in the City.

Justice is one of the four cardinal virtues identified by Plato and later taught by Aristotle. They represent the foundation of natural morality and, as well as Justice, comprise Prudence, Fortitude and Temperance. It is no coincidence that Justice has Prudence at her right hand in the Moorgate representation below. She is the mother of all the virtues, helping us to distinguish between right and wrong using reason. Here she is carrying a lamp to light her way and a staff to test the ground in front of her. Often she holds a mirror, illustrating the importance of self-awareness when making judgments about others, but here it is held by Truth.

Prudence, Justice, Truth and Thrift at 13-15 Moorgate

The building was completed in 1893 as the London headquarters of the Metropolitan Life Assurance Society. It’s coat of arms (granted in 1885) are also incorporated, showing a lady holding a skull (mortality) in her left hand with a serpent (signifying wisdom) entwined on her right.

The coat of arms of the Metropolitan Life Assurance Society on 13/15 Moorgate

This lady adorns the Institute of Chartered Accountants. It looks like she has stepped out of her niche in order to upstage the accountants number-crunching away behind her.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants, 11 Copthall Avenue

And finally a sadly rather dusty lady in Fleet Street. These were the former offices of the Norwich Union Insurance Company and Justice is probably there because the entrance arch is shared with Serjeants’ Inn.

49-50 Fleet Street