The Lions of Mrs. Van der Elst
Mrs. Van der Elst is credited with the addition of the famous Harlaxton lions, though two already existed at the manor. This pair had been rescued and transported from the original manor to a location near the Dutch Canal. Mrs. Van der Elst purchased three sets of lions that are now so iconic they are associated with the manor itself. The most well-known are the Stone Lions located at the head of the stairs to the right of the manor’s entrance.
The Bronze Lions have been dated to 1878 and were located atop the gate lodges in the Front Courtyard. They depict a boar hunt by a lion and lioness. They are cast in bronze and created by Auguste Cain, a notable French artist. These lions are similar to lions in the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris and Central Park in New York.
The Italian Marble Lions recline and flank the fountain on the Baroque or “Lion” terrace at the rear of the Manor. They are copies of those carved for the tomb of Pope Clement XIII in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and were acquired from Witley Court, Worcestershire in 1938.
Photography by Brianna Jackson, 2016.