Thursday, 22 January 2015

George and the Dragon

               London's Boundary Markers 

This first image is of a wonderful silver dragon that can be found at
Leadenhall Market in London and has, on its wing, a red cross. 

The cross and the dragon are symbols of St George, patron saint of England that form part of the heraldic symbols of the City of London that can be found around the square mile of St Paul's Cathedral and the Bank of England.

 Along with the lion and the unicorn, which also can be found on many of London's public buildings, the dragon features quite prominently in our capital, being used as boundary markers and are a wonderful reminder of London's long history. 

Some of the dragon are seated, because of where it is situated, but the actual boundary markers usually stand on their two rear legs, with the right foreleg raised and the left foreleg holding a shield which bears the City of London's coat of arms, painted in red and white. The dragon design is based on two large dragon sculptures which were mounted above the entrance to the Coal Exchange and designed by J. B. Bunning and made in1849 in Dewer's London foundry. When the Coal Exchange was demolished in the mid 1960's the original statues were re erected on six foot high plinths at the western boundary of the City. In 1964 the Corporation of London's Streets Committee used the statues as the model for boundary markers. 

London's Street Committee did have a choice of dragons for the design of the markers, choosing, as I have just said, Bunning's design over the other dragon at Temple Bar on Fleet Street, by architect C B Birch which was considered too fierce.

They are probably right, have a look at this final image.

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