Temple Bar - Encyclopedia




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TEMPLE BAR, an historic site in London, England. In more than one of the main roads converging upon the city of London a bar or chain marked the extra-mural jurisdiction of the Corporation. Temple Bar stood at the junction of the present Strand and Fleet Street, over against the Law Courts. A bar is first mentioned here in 1301, but the name is most familiar in its application to the gateway designed by Sir Christopher Wren, which replaced an older structure on this spot in 1672. This was removed in 1878, and set up in 1888 at the entrance to Theobalds Park near Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. A pedestal surmounted by a dragon or "griffin" marks the old site. When the sovereign is about to enter the city in state, whether by Temple Bar or elsewhere, the Lord Mayor, in accordance with ancient custom, presents the sword of the city to him, and he at once returns it. Formerly the bar or gate was closed against the sovereign until this ceremony was carried out.

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