Chapman Haunting, Cheshunt

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  1. Ian Topham says:

    Re: Chapman Haunting, Cheshunt
    Temple Bar

    Sir Henry Bruce Meux, 3rd Baronet (1856–1900) controversially married Valerie Susie Langdon a Devon butcher’s daughter, Victorian socialite, actress, skilled banjo player and it has been suggested an ex-prostitute using the name Val Reece. Lady Valerie Susan Meux (1847 – 1910) was a fascinating character who is said to have drove herself around London in a carriage drawn by zebras, attended a prize fight in disguise and also attended meetings of Madame Blavatsky’s Theosophical Society.

    [img_assist|nid=3303|title=|desc=|link=popup|align=right|width=200|height=151]In 1887 she purchased Sir Christopher Wren’s Temple Bar. Temple Bar is the only surviving gateway to London and stood at the junction Fleet and the Strand for 200 years. The heads of traitors were displayed on spikes upon it. As London grew and the roads need widening, Temple Bar was unfit for purpose and was dismantled on January 2, 1878. Lady Meux had the 400 tons Temple Bar transported to Theobalds Park and rebuilt as a gate to the estate.

    Decorated inside with Vanity Far cartoons, Lady Meux would entertain visitors in the room above the main arch. It is thought that amongst those guests were Sir Winston Churchill and King Edward VII.

    At a cost of £3 million the Temple Bar was returned to a site beside St Pauls Cathedral, London in 2004.