- Heritage Category:
- Listed Building
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Statutory Address:
- TEMPLE BAR, ST PAUL'S CHURCHYARD
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- Statutory Address:
- TEMPLE BAR, ST PAUL'S CHURCHYARD
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Greater London Authority
- City and County of the City of London (London Borough)
- National Grid Reference:
- TQ 31969 81195
Reasons for Designation
Temple Bar is designated at Grade I, for the following principal reasons:
* Unique public structure of the C17 connected with Britain's most famous architect, Sir Christopher Wren
* Utmost historic significance as the old boundary gate between the City of London and the City of Westminster. It has strong ceremonial associations and served as a backdrop to pageantry and punishment rituals from 1672 to 1878 * Architecturally, it is a notable example of a public monument in the proto-Baroque manner embellished with sculpture by the eminent sculptor, John Bushnell.
* Temple Bar is now the only surviving City of London gateway * Interesting history of its relocation to Hertfordshire and subsequent return to the capital
* Considerable group value with Wren's St Paul's Cathedral
627/1/10282 ST PAUL'S CHURCHYARD 15-JUN-10 (North side) Temple Bar
I Temple Bar, former west gate into the City of London, built 1670-72, by Joshua Marshall and Thomas Knight, with possible involvement of Christopher Wren. C17 statuary by John Bushnell. Restored by architects Freeland Rees Roberts.
MATERIALS: White Portland stone with brick and rubble core.
EXTERIOR: Triple gate with a central segmental carriageway flanked by two semi-circular pedestrian arches, all with ribbed soffits and moulded springers. The two facades of the Bar are identical, having two orders of shallow pilasters: the lower story rusticated Tuscan without an entablature; the upper storey Corinthian with moulded architrave, plain frieze, egg and dart mouldings and dentil and astragal cornice. Lower storey of plain rustication with elongated voussoirs and a scroll-shaped keystone to the central arch, plain keystones to the pedestrian arches. Its simplicity contrasts with the upper storey which is more lavish in ornamental detail. The pilasters create three bays and within the centre bay is a round-headed window, with lugged surround and cartouche bearing oval shield of the cross of St George on the N and the royal arms on the S, the latter bearing the motto of the Order of the Garter: 'Honi soit qui mal y pense', which translated as 'shame on him who thinks evil of it'. In the outer bays there are niches above plain cartouches, containing statues of James I and a Queen on the north and Charles I and Charles II on the south by John Bushnell. The upper storey is surmounted by a segmental pediment with egg and dart mouldings and dentil and astragal cornice and is decorated with a plain tablet surrounded by garlands and flanked by cornucopiae. Above the pedestrian arches, the upper storey is framed by two flamboyant volutes in the manner of a Baroque church façade. Next to these are statues of beasts, two griffins on the north and a lion and a unicorn on the south.
The restored gates, with iron furniture to the north, are from Theobalds Park and date from the time of the Bar's installation in Hertfordshire. Statues of the four beasts on the parapet are new sculptures by Tim Crawley from Fairhaven of Anglesey Abbey. Despite these alterations and repairs approximately 95% of the structure is original.
Although it appears to be joined to Juxon House and Paternoster Lodge, Temple Bar is largely free standing, although two high-tensile steel bars knit the Bar and the adjoining structures together. A modern bridge from Paternoster Lodge to the east, suspended above the parapet roof and hidden behind the parapet, provides access to the upper chamber. Neither Juxon House nor Paternoster Lodge is included in the listing.
INTERIOR: Modern door in east elevation and single internal space with modern floor, ceiling, and fittings. Lit by four windows, one in each elevation. North and south windows with leaded fanlights; east and west are oculi. The interior and fenestration of the upper chamber are entirely new, although reusing the historical walls and openings. First floor chamber accessed from Paternoster Lodge to the east, via a modern bridge above the flat leaded eastern roof.
HISTORY: Temple Bar was built in 1670-72 at the junction of Fleet Street and the Strand, the official boundary between the City of London and the City of Westminster. It replaced earlier structures on the site.
The first recording of a barrier at the site was in c.1183, taking its name from the adjacent C12 preceptory of the Knights Templar. By the mid-C16 this older gate was causing traffic problems and the structure was falling into disrepair, though it was not until 1670-72 that the wooden structure was replaced by the current Temple Bar.
In 1662, a road widening act was passed and plans for a new Temple Bar advanced, although the City of London would not commit to the work on the grounds of expense and perhaps a suspicion of the King's motives. When Charles offered £1,500 towards the rebuilding and demanded explanations from the Mayor as to the procrastination, the City had no choice but to oblige the monarch.
The design of Temple Bar has traditionally been attributed to Sir Christopher Wren, who was appointed Surveyor to the King's Works in 1668 or 1669 and had overarching responsibility for all royal building projects. The Bar and its statuary would have been one of the first glimpses for the general London public of the new continental Baroque idiom.
The Temple Bar served an important ceremonial function given its unique position on the boundary between the City and Westminster. Monarchs would pause here to request permission to enter the City receiving in turn the Sword of State from the Lord Mayor as a symbol of the City's loyalty. Iron spikes atop the Bar were used to display the heads or quarters of traitors, for the last time following the Jacobite uprising of 1745, leading to the Bar's poplar nickname 'City Golgotha'. New gates were hung for Nelson's funeral in 1806 and the Bar was draped in black for Wellington's funeral in 1852.
Calls for the demolition of Temple Bar began as early as 1766. In the 1860s proposals for new law courts on the Strand, coupled with structural cracks, led to plans to demolish. The demolition, executed in January 1878 by workmen from Messrs Mowlem, Burt and Co, was carefully done with each stone individually numbered and then all removed to a storage yard in Farringdon.
In 1887 Sir Henry Bruce Meux bought and transported the stones to his estate in Hertfordshire at a cost in excess of £10,000. The reconstruction of Temple Bar in 1888 was part of a wider scheme of aggrandisement of the house and park. Modifications were made to the structure including the addition of a lodge to its south-east corner and a buttress to the west to support the Bar, as well as a staircase to provide access to the upper chamber, which was to be used for dining and entertaining.
Its condition rapidly deteriorated prompting discussions as to its future. Since the early 1950s schemes to bring the Bar back to London have been mooted, and in 1976 the Temple Bar Trust was established to pursue this goal. In 1999 a planning application to remove Temple Bar to the new Paternoster Square development near St Paul's Cathedral was granted, subject to conditions relating to recording and reinstatement, and work was completed in 2004. The structure was formerly a scheduled monument.
SOURCES: Kerry Downes, The Architecture of Wren (Reading, 1988) p.124 Wren Society Vol 19 (Oxford, 1942) Emily Mann, The Gates of London in the Seventeenth Century (unpublished MA thesis, Courtauld Institute of Art, 2003) David Robinson, Temple Bar: the History, Architecture and Fabric of a Celebrated London Monument, (unpublished English Heritage Report) John Harris and Gordon Higgott, Inigo Jones: complete architectural drawings (London, 1989) pp. 168-169 and pp. 251-253. Simon Bradley and Nicholas Pevsner, The Buildings of England London 1: The City of London (London, 1997) pp. 495-6. Oxford Archaeology, The Temple Bar Hertfordshire: Report on the archaeological investigation of Temple Bar during its dismantling. (Unpublished report, 2005) Transcripts of manuscripts in the Corporation of London Records Office.
REASON FOR DESIGNATION: Temple Bar is designated at Grade I, for the following principal reasons:
* Unique public structure of the C17 connected with Britain's most famous architect, Sir Christopher Wren. * Utmost historic significance as the old boundary gate between the City of London and the City of Westminster. It has strong ceremonial associations and served as a backdrop to pageantry and punishment rituals from 1672 to 1878. * Architecturally, it is a notable example of a public monument in the proto-Baroque manner embellished with sculpture by the eminent sculptor, John Bushnell. * Temple Bar is now the only surviving City of London gateway. * Interesting history of its relocation to Hertfordshire and subsequent return to the capital. * Considerable group value with Wren's St Paul's Cathedral.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.
End of official listing