Farringdon Without History of the Most Interesting Places, Leading Events; and Some Account of the Eminent Men connected therewith, since the year 1600

Francis, Adolphus Decimus

1870

Temple Bar

The most western boundary of the ward of Farringdon Without, was built by Sir Christopher Wren, and is admirably adapted for the purpose for which it was intended; it is constructed of Portland stone, of rustic work below, and of the Corinthian order. In two niches over the gate on the east side are statues of Queen Elizabeth and King James I., the king's arms being placed over the key-stone. The statues of King Charles I. and Charles II. adorn the west side. On the iron spikes above the pediment were formerly exhibited the heads and limbs of traitors, which having been placed thereon, were left to blister in the sun. The rooms above the gateway are now used by Messrs. Child, the bankers, as a depository for their books.

In olden time Temple Bar was what its name conveys

17

"a bar," composed of posts, rails, and a chain, stretching across the street, to prevent unsanctioned ingress or egress; that gave place to a house of timber, removed at the great fire of London, when, under the influence of Wren's reforming hand, the present building was reared to " reign in its stead."