Lion sculpture has pride of place in Lewes Town Hall

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The much-loved figure of a lion which once stood above the White Lion pub in Westgate, Lewes, has been given a new home.

He has pride of place above the bar in the Corn Exchange in Lewes Town Hall.

The White Lion Inn, on the eastern side of Westgate, near the High Street junction, was closed in 1937 as part of a housing clearance scheme.

But the sign was saved by the Friends of Lewes and put up again near its original location in 1954.

It had been made by a Lewes craftsman named Larwill, whose High Street shop was close by.

In 2012 it was removed for restoration and its replacement was delayed amid fears that the large copper animal would attract metal thieves.

The then Lewes town ranger Chris Kemp painstakingly cleaned it, revealing its original glory.

In May 2014 a resin replica was put up and Lewes Town Council paid for replacing the lost tail.

The new display case for the copper lion was created by current Lewes town ranger, Brian Courage.

A spokesperson for the Friends of Lewes said: “This fine sculpture is best viewed in his illuminated case from further back in the room.

“Why not call by, perhaps at a Tuesday morning market, and renew acquaintance at closer quarters?”

The lion was made in the early 19th century.

The White Lion inn is recorded as early as Elizabethan times, although it may not have been the same building that was pulled down as part of a slum clearance.

Westgate was formerly known as White Lion Lane.