Lions’ pride of place at Stowe

One of the Blackpool lions at the unveiling ceremony at Stowe House.
One of the Blackpool lions at the unveiling ceremony at Stowe House.
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Blackpool’s Stanley Park lions are now standing in pride of place at their new home.

Prince Michael of Kent was joined by Blackpool Council leader Simon Blackburn to unveil the two sculptures at a prestigious ceremony at Stowe House in Buckinghamshire on Saturday.

The celebration was the centrepiece of Stowe School’s 90th Anniversary Speech Day.

Chairman of the Friends of Stanley Park Elaine Smith, council deputy chief executive Carmel McKeogh and head of heritage Carl Carrington were also part of the civic party from Blackpool.

Mrs Smith said: “It was an absolutely fantastic day and the lions look wonderful now they have been restored.

“They are back where they should be and they look marvellous in their setting at Stowe House.

“I am glad they have gone back there and I am now looking forward to getting our replicas put in Stanley Park.”

Mr Carrington added: “It was a really memorable day and so many people approached us to say thanks for allowing the lions to come back to Stowe.”

Blackpool Council, which bought the lions from Stowe in 1922, agreed to lease them back in a 50-year agreement because it was feared the sculptures were too vulnerable to the threat of vandalism in Stanley Park.

In return, Blackpool is receiving full size identical replicas funded by the World Monuments Fund and the Paul Mellon estate, which are due to arrive in July.

Blackpool residents will also have free entrance to the house and gardens at Stowe to see the lions in their new home.