Members of the public were outraged when the beloved stone lions that had guarded Rowallane’s Avenue Ground for over 100 years went missing. The National Trust, who cares for Rowallane Garden, commissioned Cliveden Conservation to replicate the missing lions using expert stone carving skills.
Summary of the conservation work carried out
Working from historic and contemporary photographs the conservation team prepared clay models (maquettes) of the lost lions to be presented to the National Trust for approval.
After a few minor adjustments, the skilled carvers successfully hand carved the replica lions from Swinton sandstone. The lions were carefully transported to Rowallane Garden which is located immediately south of Saintfield, County Down, Northern Ireland.
Cliveden Conservation positioned and fixed the replica sculpted lions back in their rightful place. With the new lions in place, the National Trust asked the public to help choose their names. They have now been named Tonagh and Neave.
Rowallane Garden’s new lions can be found on the Avenue Ground and the public are being encouraged to come along and see them for themselves. Cliveden Conservation are delighted to have been involved with this project.
Rowallane Garden, National Trust
Principal Conservation Contractor:
What we did
“Skilled stone sculptors at Cliveden Conservation took great care to recreate the curled manes and characterful expressions of the old lions and we are confident that the new lions will be greeted warmly by all.”
Frances Bailey, lead curator for the National Trust in Northern Ireland