The Lion Brewery, Lambeth


The surprisingly grand façade of the Lion Brewery, with its classical pilasters, pedimented windows and statue of the eponymous lion on the parapet, sits comfortably amongst the smoking chimneys of the industrialised shoreline and the two shot towers flanking Waterloo Bridge. The buildings to the foreground, all recent 19th-century constructions, are contrasted effectively with the distant dome of St. Pauls Cathedral, just as the steamer on the river contrasts with the ceremonial or state barge to the left.

Sculpted by William Frederick Woodlington, the statue of the lion was rescued before the demolition of the brewery in 1949 and currently resides on the Lambeth side of Westminster Bridge. Another similar lion, originally mounted above a gate at the Brewery was also removed and is currently mounted above the Rowland Hill Memorial Gate of Twickenham Stadium.

Full title:
A Topographical History of Surrey: by E. W. Brayley ... assisted by John Britton ... and E. W. Brayley, jun. ... The geological section by Gideon Mantell. (The illustrative department under the superintendence of Thomas Allom.) [With plates.]
1841-8, Dorking, Surrey, London
Dorking: Robert Best Ede & London: Tilt & Bogue
Etching / Engraving / View
M J Starling, Thomas Allom
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library

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Lambeth’s topographical image

Article by:
Amy Concannon
Antiquarianism, Town and city, Transforming topography

With important antiquarian sites like Lambeth Palace and places of popular entertainment like Vauxhall Gardens, the London parish of Lambeth was a rich resource for topographical artists and writers at the turn of the 19th century. It was also a landscape in flux: a traditional ‘rural retreat’ on the Surrey side of the Thames undergoing rapid urbanisation. With a particular focus on the work of Lambeth-born topographer Edward Wedlake Brayley (1773–1854), Amy Concannon explores how contemporary producers of topographical material – both visual and textual – negotiated the changing landscape of Lambeth.

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