Rowallane Garden gets its roar back
In December 2016, the beloved stone lions that guarded Rowallane's Avenue Ground for over 100 years went missing. Unfortunately despite a huge response on social media and great support from the local press, the lions were never recovered. Recognising the popularity of the statues, we are pleased to announce that exact replicas of the stone lions have been commissioned and will be unveiled in early 2018
Back In 1875, an engineer called James Coulter was commissioned by Reverend Moore to create a new entrance to Rowallane Garden through the Avenue Ground. Coulter blasted out the rock cutting, which was part of the Avenue Ground work. The Reverend Moore built two stone cairns from river-washed granite and a bridge across the stream with primitive-style stone seats to complement his new driveway. The finishing touches were the lions that he may have purchased at auction or from another estate, but unfortunately, our records do not confirm this. The work took two years to complete and cost £76.31
Over the years, the stone lions became firm favourites with our visitors, and the overwhelming response to the lions going missing is a testament to this. The National Trust is a charity dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of sites such as Rowallane Garden, and so following very considered discussions, it was agreed to have the stone lions replaced so that future generations could enjoy this important part of Rowallane's history.
With documentation and photographs from our records, supplemented with many more photographs sent to us by visitors, Cliveden Conservation were commissioned to work up small-scale maquettes of the statues for review and adjustments were made based on our feedback. Once the maquettes were approved, the stonemason began the process of carving the new lions from sandstone in their full size, to match the originals.
It’s hoped the lions will be completed and ready to take up guard in Rowallane Garden in early 2018. Over time, the new lions will weather and age nicely to match the originals and will be enjoyed by many generations of visitors to come.