Devoted to the unexpected details that help to make life in the city worth living
Thursday, 27 October 2011
South Bank Lion, Westminster Bridge Road SE1
Everyone loves the South Bank Lion, but few realise it was created to advertise beer. It was modelled by William Woodington in 1837 for the Red Lion Brewery, demolished to make way for the Royal Festival Hall. The lion was saved on the personal intervention of George V and placed next to Waterloo Station, subsequently being moved in the 1960s its current, more prominent site on the approach to Westminster Bridge. It looks as though it has been here for ever, the surface of the Coade stone as crisp today as it was when it was cast despite the removal of the red paint that it was originally coated with.