Sunday, April 7, 2013
Upton on Severn, Worcestershire
Cat on a Doric roof
Writing about the Dying Gladiator in Brigg in a recent post has alerted me to three dimensional inn signs, a phenomenon I've noticed in this blog before. The White Lion at Upton is another inn with a three-dimensional sign, still more striking – although less remarkable in subject matter – than the Dying Gladiator. The White Lion's building goes back to 1510 and the inn now has a classical frontage on Upton's main street. It was the hostelry of choice for Prince Rupert and his followers towards the end of the English Civil War and, while the Royalists were enjoying the inn's hospitality (or sleeping it off) a small group of Parliamentarians occupied the local church, held out until they were reinforced, and sent the Royalists packing to Worcester, where they were defeated by Cromwell a week later, bringing the war to an end.
Among later guests at the White Lion was the novelist Henry Fielding, who has the eponymous hero of his novel Tom Jones put up at the inn. I don't know if the lion above the doorway had been installed by this point. Probably not, as it looks of a piece with the late Georgian or Regency-looking facade, so perhaps the creature has been there, looking down from the top of the inn's Doric porch, his gilded mane catching the sunlight, for just over 200 years.
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There is more about the White Lion here.
For more 3D inn signs, see my posts on the Swan Hotel in Wells and the White Hart at Hingham.