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London Statues: Fearless Girl in Paternoster Square

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Fearless Girl by Kristen Visbal was made famous for being sited in 2017 near the Wall Street’s bull in New York. The statue was a hit with tourists and the internet.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

A copy of the statue of was installed in March in the City of London’s financial district to highlight the importance of female leaders in business.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Situated near St Paul’s, Fearless Girl seems a little lonely with only Elizabeth Frink’s sheep statue for company.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The statue is expected to remain in Paternoster Square until the end of June.

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The Remarkable Story of the Temple Bar

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Standing near to St Paul’s Cathedral, mostly ignored by visitors is an arch that has a remarkable history. The arch is known as the Temple Bar and was commissioned by King Charles II, and designed by Sir Christopher Wren. Constructed from Portland Stone between 1669 and 1672 it occupied one of the most important locations in London, separating the  City of London and the City of Westminster.

This location was the point where Fleet Street becomes the Strand, a site now near the Royal Courts of Justice, it was at this spot that a Temple Bar stood from the 13th century. Originally just a wooden structure with a chain, it possessed considerable symbolic importance. Temple Bar was the  scene of a large number of historical pageants celebrating coronations and paying homage to dead Kings and Queens, through the Temple Bar passed Henry V, Anne Boleyn, Edward VI and  Mary Tudor. Before Queen Elizabeth the first’s  coronation, Gogmagog the Albion, and Corineus the Briton, the two Guildhall giants, stood next to the Bar.

In the late Middle Ages a wooden archway stood on the spot and although it escaped damage in the Great Fire of London , it was decided  by the City to rebuild the structure.

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The Wren designed Temple Bar is constructed in two stories with  one wide central arch for the road traffic, flanked on both sides by narrower arches for pedestrians.
During the 18th century, the heads of traitors were mounted on pikes and exhibited on the roof and  upper story room was leased to the neighbouring banking-house of Child and Co for records storage.

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Temple Bar, London, 1878 by A & J Bool

In 1878 the City of London Corporation decided that the arch was becoming a bottleneck for traffic and decided to dismantle the structure. It dismantled it piece-by-piece over an 11-day period and the Corporation stored the 2,700 stones. In 1880, at the instigation of his wife, Valerie Meux, the brewer Henry Meux bought the stones and re-erected the arch as a gateway at his house, Theobalds Park in Hertfordshire. Lady Meux used it to entertain friends but after she died, it became derelict and abandoned  until 2003.

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Temple bar at Theobolds Park (Photo M Newnham 1968)

In 1984, it was purchased by the Temple Bar Trust from the Meux Trust for £1. It was carefully dismantled and returned on 500 pallets to the City of London, where it was painstakingly re-erected as an entrance to the Paternoster Square redevelopment just north of St Paul’s Cathedral. It opened to the public on the 10 November 2004.

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London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here