When you look at the magnificent bronze lions sitting at the foot of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square you see powerful, dignified, graceful beasts. Each one is 11ft high, 20ft long and 7 tons of poised feline power.

Ironic then that their construction was so marred by all the opposite traits. Although Nelson’s column itself was raised into position in 1843, the lions – which were always part of the original design – were only added in 1867.
Lion in Trafalgar Square
Design by Accent Studio
Edwin Landseer, an artist best known for dogs and horses, painstakingly set about sketching lions and spending time at the Zoological Gardens to fully understand the character of the animals.
A drunk and disorderly bunch caused public protests.
It seems that his dedication and methodical processes were not entirely mimicked by his workers who, according to some over the years, were a drunk and disorderly bunch whose tardy attitude to work actually caused public protests!

As a footnote, the ‘Landseer Lions’ were actually a Plan B. Originally Thomas Milnes was commissioned to produce four lions which he delivered to the site. However they were not deemed to be grand enough and were rejected. They now reside in the north of England in Saltaire, a Victorian model village near Bradford.