The Shadowhunters' Wiki
The Shadowhunters' Wiki
SPOILER WARNING: Plot details for Chain of Iron follow. Caution is advised!

The London Institute is the Institute in London, as well as the largest in Europe.



DW London Institute 01.jpg

In 1857, the head of the Institute, Granville Fairchild, hosted the initial meetings between Shadowhunters and Downworlders to discuss and lay out the possible terms of The Accords.[1]

After Granville's death, leadership of the Institute passed to Granville's daughter, Charlotte Branwell, and partially by her husband, Henry, as Granville had wanted. Under her leadership, she accepted in the wards Will Herondale, Jem Carstairs, Jessamine Lovelace, and later a warlock Tessa Gray—though it was unorthodox and not looked on well by others.[2]

In 1878, the Institute was attacked and infiltrated by Axel Mortmain and his clockwork army. They were able to gain access by coating one of the automatons hands in the blood of a Shadowhunter to open the door—the first time such an act had been done.[3] Charlotte's integrity as Institute head was challenged by Benedict Lightwood after the incident for having left the Institute unguarded and not having realized that Mortmain was the danger they were after. The challenge was eventually revoked[4] and Charlotte remained head, despite Josiah Wayland's attempts to undermine her, until she was offered the position of Consul.[5]


Will was appointed as Charlotte's successor when the latter became Consul.

In December 1903, James Herondale and Cordelia Carstairs's wedding ceremony and reception party took place in the Institute—just as Will and Tessa's had 23 years prior—and James moved out to his new house on Curzon Street.

A few weeks later, when Will and Tessa went to Paris to resolve a Clave issue, Gabriel Lightwood and Cecily Herondale ran the Institute temporarily.

A week or so later, the Institute was attacked by one of the Princes of Hell Leviathan, who was trying to enter their world. There had been massive destruction during the fight that followed and Will planned to notify the Clave in order to start repair work immediately.[6]

The Herondale family continued to run the Institute until around the 1990s.[5][7]

Dark War

In 2007, the Institute was attacked by Sebastian Morgenstern's army of Endarkened Shadowhunters. However, the residents of the London Institute were warned and protected by a force that few people were aware of—the ghost of Jessamine Lovelace.[8] After the war, most of the inhabitants that used to fill the Institute did not return, leaving the Institute practically empty.[9]

In 2010, Academy student George Lovelace was promised a place at the Institute upon Ascension. Though he did not survive the process, the Institute head made good on their word and George was buried there.[10]

As of 2012, the Institute was run by Evelyn Highsmith, and Bridget Daly still served there as a maid and cook despite being over one hundred years old. Threatened by Malcolm Fade at the Los Angeles Institute, the Blackthorn family and Cristina Rosales sought refuge here. The arrival of a faerie and warlock drove Evelyn out of the Institute and the city, leaving Alec Lightwood temporarily in charge.[9]


The London Institute is located on Fleet Street in London, England. It sits on the former site of the Church of All-Hallows-The-Less, which was destroyed in the Great Fire Of London in 1666.[3] Through its glamour, the Institute appears to be a regular, abandoned church on the outside.

Inside, the Institute is as glamorous as a castle. The ceiling rises up and disappears into the gloom above. There are tapestries hanging from the walls depicting stars, swords, and designs of runes. The Institute is big enough to be maze-like for newcomers.

Also, much like most other Institutes, the image of Raziel is depicted in several parts of the Institute, and it also has a Sanctuary, which had a fountain with an angel statue. This Institute holds the Great Library of Europe which filled with literature, many of which are either religious or classics. There is also a grand ballroom which, during the refurbishments done to the Institute while Will Herondale was Head, balconies were added off of.[11]

The rooms are large and dimly lit, enduing a warm and homey feel. In each room is a large bed, a fireplace, and windows. The dining room is huge and bright, lit by a large gasolier that illuminates the room with a yellowish light. A large mirror goes along the length of the room.

The study is used for the meetings that the Enclave might have. The basement once served as Henry Branwell's laboratory—and still houses an unregulated Portal to the Cornwall Institute[9]—and their training room is found in the attic.


Early 1800s

Late 1800s - Early 1900s


Former residents:

Frequent guests:

Late 1900s


Early 2010s



  • The Institute's Sanctuary apparently used to be the servants' quarters in the 1800s.[1]
  • The London Institute is one of the many Institutes that throw annual Christmas parties, some of which are themed.[3][4][5][6] It is attended by the London Enclave, and is famous among Shadowhunters from different parts of the world.[8]
  • The Portal was invented—and first used—in the basement of this Institute by Henry Branwell and Magnus Bane.[5]
  • While remodeling the Institute, Tessa Gray found a cache of scandalous love letters between Charlotte Fairchild’s parents. No one besides she and Will Herondale has read them.[12]
  • While the London Institute was built on the site of the burned All-Hallows-the-Less church, the real church was in fact located in Upper Thames Street. Cassandra Clare chose to place the Institute on Fleet Street, replacing St. Bride's Church—which does not exist in this universe, and from which the shape of the Institute's spire was based on—instead.[13]