Updated: Jun 7, 2020
I thought this would be a simple little post. Three bygone boozers with 'Lion' in their names in the Buxton Road and Market Place area of Ashbourne. Hmmm! Didn't quite turn out that way. Delving a little deeperinto the details produced two different White Lions, some lions which changed colour and some lions without any colour at all. Some that lost colour and others which gained a hue. Putting some sort of order into the references to the various lions that I have access to in this lockdown period is proving interesting, but I believe that I've managed to suss one out. The rest will follow later.
As one enters the town along the A515 from Buxton, not far beyond the still-serving Bowling Green - well it was still serving before this Covid-19 thing - we pass what once was the White Lion. Its listing in Pigot's Directory of 1828 gives it as being at the Pig Market with Richard Mould as the innkeeper.
At some point between 1842, when he's at the Royal Oak (yet another bygone boozer), and 1849 John Wigley and his wife Ann make the short journey from King Street to Buxton Road to take over at the White Lion. When John dies in 1878 Ann keeps on until at least 1881. After she has retired, having spent over thirty years at the White Lion, another family dynasty takes it on.
The 1891 census shows that Mark Read was the innkeeper at the White Lion. He dies on New Year's Day 1909. Was it a really good Hogmanay? His widow Eliza continues running the place for another fifteen years and even after her death in 1924 Mark and Eliza's daughter Annie takes the pub on.
Quite when it closed as a mere pub I'm not sure. It's still listed in the 1984 telephone directory and this photograph from Picture the Past gives the date as 'Late 20th Century'. The lantern bearing the White Lion name is actually attached to what used to be the White Horse, which is also a bygone boozer. There is still a lantern there, but not the one depicted below.
Sometime after its life as a simple pub it was incorporated into the next door building becoming part of Bramhall's restaurant.
As well as having its entrance steps restructured Bramhall's experienced a name change or two, with its final one completing the circle when it became White's Dining, Bar & Rooms.
By the autumn of 2018 the former White Lion had been converted for residential use, along with another reorientation of the steps, and was on the market...
...with a nameplate by the front door giving a nod to its former life.
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