The Pride of Parham – Our Lions. If you follow us on social media you may have seen our “Pride of Parham” posts. We have 96 lions in many different places here, and are gradually introducing each one, lion by lion.
Our first Lion is the Coade stone Lion on what is known as the Potato Tower (it is, in fact, a water tower).
You can see from the inscriptions on the older images that he came to Parham from Northwick Park, Oxfordshire in 1967. It is signed W. Croggan 1822. Coade stone is a manufactured stone which was made to a ‘secret’ recipe by Eleanor Coade in a factory at Lambeth in London. William Croggan managed the factory between 1813 – 1836.
We have a picture in the Saloon by William James of London depicting the Thames – in the bottom right-hand corner there are two blocks of Coade stone in the place where the Lambeth factory would have been!
Lion 2 & 3
On the windowsills of the Great Hall stand a pair of 19th century marble lions, copies of the 16th century ones in the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence.
This Parham Lion is stitched as part of the needlework on one of the six Louis XIV high-backed walnut chairs (c.1685-1690) in the Great Parlour. The lion is on the seat, and on the back a man holds a stick on which three birds perch.
All six of these chairs have an animal on the seat and a person on the back. This follows tradition – human figures were never embroidered onto the seat of a chair as it wasn’t considered right ever to sit on a person!
In the West Room there is a beadwork picture. An English piece made in 1640, it depicts animals, birds and flowers worked in coloured glass beads sewn on to a linen fabric. This technique was widely used on embroidered boxes and mirror frames.