Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Hidden Henley

FRIDAY Street in Henley has different types of buildings that are full of character and, presumably, many hidden stories.

Most people will walk past Queen Anne Cottage, along with so many other fine and well looked after homes, without noticing this old metal plate stamped or cast with a sun symbol and 635J5 (or perhaps the J was intended to be the number one back then).

Only a year after the Great Fire of London in 1666 and the shock that it left behind, the first fire insurance company was established — the Phoenix. Plates made of lead and later copper or plate iron were fixed to the front of buildings that were covered by such insurance.

There are still a few Royal Insurance plates around today but this one appears to be from the Sun Insurance and could date back to any time from 1710.

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