The Lion on the Staircase
Today the 320-year old Lion and Unicorn Staircase is located in The Square, attached to the Gilbert Scott Building by the Chapel. The Principal’s Lodging is just at the foot of the staircase. There have been a few changes to the staircase since 1872, including some restoration work and for some time recently the Unicorn and the Lion were enclosed in wooden boxes to protect them (I presume). The most significant change to the staircase came when the Chapel on the western side of the Gilbert Scott Building was built in 1929.
When the Gilbert Scott Building was constructed in 1870, the West Quadrangle was open to what was then Professors’ Square, a landscaped garden with two staircases leading into the Gilbert Scott Building, one at the north-west corner, and the Lion and Unicorn Staircase at the south-west corner. It was through these two staircases that professors of the University would use to enter the Main Building. So, what was the significant change to this staircase in 1929? The story, which began yesterday, continues tomorrow.
The meaning of the Lion has been featured before, and you can find that post here.
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