The Temple Bar Gatehouse from a 1909 postcard
The House from an early 19th century engraving
Built / Designed For: George Prescott
House & Family History: Theobalds Park is a red brick and Portland stone house of five bays by two-and-a-half stories with small outer wings and forward-curving one-story colonnades. The Theobalds Estate (site of the former Theobalds Palace) was purchased from the 3rd Duke of Portland by George Prescott in 1763. It was Prescott who built the current 18th century house, later enlarged by the Meux family in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Theobalds Park is noted for its very fine Entrance Hall in the Etruscan style. Between 1929 and 1937 Theobalds was a hotel. In 1938 Middlesex County Council purchased the House for use as a general hospital; however, before the conversion to a hospital could take place, World War II erupted. During the war Theobalds was used by the Royal Artillery and the Metropolitan Police Riding School. After the war the county council used the House as a school, a purpose it served from 1951 until 1969, when the school closed. In the 1970s and 1980s Theobalds was an adult education center. In 1995 Theobalds Park was restored as a conference center and hotel, a purpose it continues to serve today.
Collections: In 1911 Admiral Hedworth Lambton sold the contents of Theobalds Park at auction.
Garden & Outbuildings: Temple Bar, 1672, the only surviving gateway to London (it was the entrance to the City of London at the boundary with the City of Westminster), and probably designed by Christopher Wren, was removed from Fleet Street in 1878 to allow for the widening of the road. In 1889 it was re-erected at Theobalds Park at the entrance to the Estate. In 1984 the Temple Bar Trust purchased the bar from the Meux Trust for £1 and proposed its re-erection beside St. Paul's Cathedral as part of the Paternoster Square redevelopment. The Temple Bar was carefully dismantled and sent on 500 pallets to the City of London, where it was re-erected as an entrance to Paternoster Square and opened to the public on November 10, 2004. The legal term "the Bar" derives from the fact that Temple Bar stood where the Law Courts stand today.
Title: SPAB News
Year Published: NA
Reference: Vol 23, No. 4, pg. 12
Publisher: London: The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings
Book Type: Magazine
Title: Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, The
Author: Pevsner, Nikolaus; Cherry, Bridget
Year Published: 2000
Publisher: London: Penguin Books
Book Type: Hardback
House Listed: Grade II*
Park Listed: Not Listed
Past Seat of: George Prescott, 18th century. Sir Henry Meux, 2nd Bt., 19th century; Meux family here 1820-1910. Admiral Hedworth Lambton, 1910-29.
Current Ownership Type: Corporation
Primary Current Ownership Use: Hotel