An extremley rare medal struck from the lead roof of the Temple Bar, when it was dismantled in Fleet Street in 1878 has been found 30km north of Wellington City in New Zealand.
Stewart Homan and his son Kevin were digging out foundation footings for a new garage in there backyard last weekend when they made the discovery.
Stewart wrote” We stock piled the top soil which my son sifted the stones out of, hence discovering by chance this medal. At first it looked like a tin lid full of dirt until he decided to clean it up.”
The medal is from a collection called The City of London Medals. A series struck by THE CORPORATION OF THE CITY OF LONDON to celebrate the accomplishment of their most notable public works, or to commemorate events of national and civic importance.
When Temple Bar was dismantled in 1878 to allow for increased traffic flow, some of the lead in the roof was used to make these medals, which were 105mm in diameter and 20mm thick, and commonly used as paperweights.
Most of the medals were struck in numbers between 350 and 450; a notable exception is the lead, glass enclosed piece commemorating the Removal of Temple Bar from the City of London, which is extremely rare.
The monogram ‘HJ’ likely refers to Sir Horace Jones, who in 1878 was the City Architect.