Temple Bar – is nothing in London nailed down?

I’ve noticed a theme with some of the photos I took around St Paul’s – nothing seems to be where it started. The National Fire-fighters Memorial was moved from Old Change Court to Jubilee Walkway and the Panyer Boy has ben relocated a number of times. And so with Temple Bar.

According to the tourist information outside the arch:

“This monument … stood at the junction of Fleet Street and the Strand [[from 1672]] until 1878 when it was impeding both the flow of traffic and the construction of the Royal Courts of Justice. It was taken down stone by stone … with a view to it being re-erected elsewhere in the City.

“Although there was strong public attachment to the Bar, for many years no place could be found for it in the City. In 1887 the brewer, Sir Henry Meux, acquired the stones … and rebuilt the Bar as a gateway into his estate at Theobalds Park in Hertfordshire … but over the years suffered continuing vandalism and deterioration until the Temple Bar Trust …purchased the stones from the Meux Trust.

“In 2001 … the Corporation of London resolved to accept the Bar as a gift from the Trust and to fund all costs of its removal and reconstruction. Work began immediately and was completed in November 2004.”

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To add some flavour to this blog post, I was looking up information on Henry Meux and found that his wife seems to have been quite a character.

From thetemplebar.info:

In 1885, Henry Bruce Meux and his wife, Lady Meux, took up residence and during the following years they carried out a number of major works. [[…]] During the same year, a new entrance gate was also created, involving the relocation from the City of London, Temple Bar. During this period, Lady Meux also added … a swimming pool and an indoor roller skating rink within the grounds.

Mike Paterson’s blog covers a lot more of the Lady’s exploits. I am especially intrigued by how people must have regarded her travelling around London in her zebra-drawn carriage. I assume this mode of transport was copied from Lord Rothschild’s similar use of zebras:

image

Who says history is dull?

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