This is the third in a series of posts comparing photos of London taken by Henry Dixon in the 1870s and 80s with the same view today.
Temple Bar was a gateway to the City of London, marking its western edge on Fleet St. Wren's construction was taken down in 1878, shortly after the top photograph was taken. A zoomable version of the image is on our Online Gallery.
Writing in 1880, Alfred Marks commented: "The photograph shows the west side of Temple Bar... shored up with timber to counteract the effects of the excavations for the New Law Courts...The Bar as we saw it till it was replaced by the 'Memorial' and its famous 'Griffin,' was built from Wren's designs in 1670...The statues on the west side, shown in our photograph, were of Charles I and Charles II in Roman habits."
The photograph beneath shows same view as it appeared in August 2009, with the griffin - the symbol of the City, which also appears at other boundary points round London - in silhouette. The northern (left) side of Fleet St was radically changed after the removal of the Bar, with the building of the new Law Courts.
Temple Bar was not destroyed, and in fact survives today intact. After its 1878 dismantling, it was bought by brewing magnate Sir Henry Meux and reconstructed in his Theobalds Park home in Hertfordshire. In 2003 it was moved piece by piece to Paternoster Square (below), next to St Paul's Cathedral, where it was restored and re-reconstructed. It opened in 2004.