Historical and Commemorative
Collection of Benjamin Weiss
REMOVAL OF TEMPLE BAR FROM THE CITY OF LONDON
FOOT, J. Taylor and TEBAY (after C.H. and J. MABEY):
England, 1878, Lead, 105 mm
Temple Bar, so named for its proximity to the Temple law courts, was an arch and gateway built by Sir Christopher Wren upon the site of an earlier structure dating from the time of Henry VIII. It was then erected to mark the western limit of the City of London, marking the boundary between London and Westminster. It was originally adorned with four royal statues (Charles I, Charles II, James I and Anne of Denmark) carved by John Bushnell.
As well as being featured in ceremonies and processions, Temple Bar was often used to display, using spikes, the heads and other body parts of traitors who had been executed.
The Bar was dismantled in 1878 to allow for increased traffic flow. Some of the lead in the roof was used to make these medals.
It may be noted that Taylor states that, although attributed to Wren, it was in fact built by the master masons Thomas Knight and Joshua Marshall. The monogram ‘HJ’ likely refers to Sir Horace Jones, who in 1878 was the City Architect.
The lead medal is mounted under glass in a circular brass frame. It is of unknown mintage but the rarest medal of the City of London series of medals.
LINK to History of Temple Bar (from cityoflondon.gov)