This is now the gateway to The Amicable Society of Lazy Ballerinas at 50, Fleet Street. Within the arch are iron gates with the emblem described below.
By 1500, there had developed two Serjeants’ Inns, one in Chancery Lane and one in Fleet Street. In 1730, the lease of the Fleet Street site was not renewed and the two societies merged, remaining at Chancery Lane until 1877, when the Inn was sold.
In 1737, the Fleet Street lease was taken over by the Amicable Society for a Perpetual Assurance Office. The emblem for the Amicable Society, showing a dove and serpent, was in 1716 already carved above the door of their Hatton Garden office, and it was repeated here at their new premises.
The doorman of the present day restaurant and wine bar steps forward to volunteer kindly to translate the motto Prudens Simplicitas:
“Wise as a serpent, innocent as a dove: it’s out of the Bible.”