In 2004 Temple Bar – the ancient western gateway to the City of London – was returned to the Square Mile as part of the redevelopment of Paternoster Square by Mitsubishi Estates. Since the end of the 19th century it had languished at Theobalds Park in Hertfordshire having been removed from its original Fleet Street location. The return to the City was arranged by Temple Bar Trust, whose first Chairman Sir Hugh Wontner (Lord Mayor of London 1973-74) suggested that this jewel of a building might become the home of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects. Temple Bar and the adjacent Paternoster Lodge now comprise the home for the Architects’ Company – the smallest of all the Livery Halls in the City.
The rooms are available to hire for meetings and dinners. Both rooms are fully accessible to all users. An education programme is running that introduces students, visitors and the City community to the area’s architectural heritage and modern architecture.
The building is managed by Temple Bar Trust whose charitable objectives are:
Temple Bar Trust manage both spaces and use its surplus funds to initiate architectural events at Temple Bar and within the City of London. The Trust specifically focuses on supporting diversity in the architectural profession and promoting architecture to a wider public.
Temple Bar was the traditional gateway to the City of London and is now a metaphorical gateway, a place where people can learn about the architecture and heritage before embarking on their visits and tours of the places and buildings of the Square Mile. Temple Bar hosts a regular programme of talks focussed on architecture within the City which is designed for a broad audience and young people.
Capital and running expenses are financed through patronage, sponsorship and venue hire for fine dining serviced by partnered caterers; meetings; or regular lectures on the City of London’s architecture – both historic and modern. It is also used as a base for regular City guided tours.