Stone lion, Museum Gardens

June 2011

Carved memorial/effigy, with lion
Carved lion – detail

These grounds are full of old stone sarcophagi and other stone fragments, and of late they’ve been moved around a bit. This carved piece was noticed this spring, placed near the former bowling green near the abbey ruins. It appears to be a memorial from the top of a tomb, with a recumbent figure with feet resting on a lion. The effigy is a bit worn and indistinct, but the lion at its feet looked very handsome in the evening sunlight. It doesn’t look at all fierce, but instead is a rather smiley lion.


The magnificent creature has since disappeared – I thought perhaps it had got a bit tired of having those feet resting on it, and had run off … but I hear that the lion is over at the Castle Museum this summer, playing a part in the ‘Knights, Castles and Chivalry’ event.


  1. This 13th/14th century Stone effigy of a knight is presently displayed in York Castle Museum in the Debtor’s Prison exercise yard next to a wall.
    Perhaps it should really be back at the Yorkshire Museum under cover and have a more detailed research done into exactly who it may be and where the person was originally buried.

  2. I agree .They are treated with little or no garden centre props.

  3. Mick Woodhall

    I really have to agree with the last 2 text…it is totally irresponsible of york authorities that an effigy or gravestone of someone surely of dumped in the prison yard..obviously not its righteous place .The remaining stonework tells this was a detailed piece in appreciation of a valued character..this should be researched and placed inside a museum with information plaque out of damaging weather conditions. .I find the figure very intriguing. .what is it holding. .why is left leg folded under etc

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