Visitors to Mote Park recently may have noticed the return of a very welcome park guardian. The lion, which had guarded Lion’s Gate in the park for 229 years, has returned to its rightful perch, fully restored.
The PRO of the Roscommon Heritage Group, Frank Scott, relayed the exciting news in the Roscommon People offices last week.
“It was originally designed by James Gandon and placed there by the Croftons. This has been sixty years in the making really. Last year the Irish Georgian Society took it on as a project and the project has received funding locally and funding from the US. The lion was taken down three weeks ago and it had three broken legs. It was restored by Coade Stone in Wiltshire in southern England and picked up two weeks ago,” Frank said.
The lion wasn’t alone up there for all those years, as Frank explains: “The lion has been full of bees – some original Irish species too. As part of the project, DNA sampling of the bees will take place.”
Frank went on to highlight the hard work of the Roscommon Heritage Group including Chairman, David Molloy, and Mary O’Carroll who “has been there since the beginning.” Frank also paid tribute to the skilful work of contractor, Gerry Dervan, and all those involved in the restoration process.
The lion has been reinstated to its prominent position in Mote Park, as good as new, to have one more turn on the circle of life.