Character Areas Tour
A view of the Queen's Temple from the south
The original work was called the Lady's Temple, and is often ascribed to Kent; but it closely resembled a Gibbs building at Down Hall in Essex. Lord Cobham and his political friends had their habitable Temple of Friendship from 1739 onwards, and we can imagine Lady Cobham demanding one for her own amusement, not too far from the house, and with a south aspect. It was built on a vaulted basement, open from front to back. The upper room had mural decorations by Sleter, the Venetian, depicting ladies engaged on the one side in needlework and shell-work, and on the other in painting and making music. A central Venetian window to the south enjoyed much the same view that we see to-day. Mid-way on the left is the Gothic Temple by Gibbs, romantically peeping above trees, and at the far end of the vista, effectively "answering" us here, his Temple of Friendship.The Seeley Guidebook of 1797 also mentions that "in the center of this apartment is a magnificent setting figure of Britannia supporting a medallion of the Queen.---The figure is as large as life, and is placed on a fluted pedestal, on which is the following inscription:"
Pietate erga Regem, erga Rempublicam
Virtute & constantia,
In difficillimis temporibus spectatissimæ,
D. D. D.
Georgius M. de Buckingham.
To the Queen,
Robinson points out that this tribute to Queen Charlotte was not simply a patriotic gesture by the Marquess of Buckingham but far more personal: "if the King had not recovered," he explains, "a Regency would have had to have been declared, thus opening the way for Fox to become prime minister in place of Buckingham's cousin William Pitt the Younger, who at that stage he staunchly supported. Queen Charlotte had not just nursed the King back to health; she had saved the Pitt-Grenville government!"
A view of the Queen's Temple from the northeast (Ladies Terrace)