Lions Den / by Heather Sutton

The Lions’ Den in Oldham’s Alexander Park has been restored to its former glory, thanks to Maysand’s multi-talented team.

An ornate and colourful stone and cast iron shelter guarded by two stone lions, it is thought to have been built before the First World War and was a well known landmark along a path known in the 1930s as the Mayor’s Walk where people used to promenade at weekends.

Years of neglect and vandalism had taken its toll until Maysand was called in to take on the restoration. “It was a sad sight and totally unrecognisable as anything other than steps and a bit of stone wall,” explains Bryn Lisle, Maysand’s managing director, so it was a substantial undertaking.

We ran tests on the remaining stone, then had and source a best possible match. Eventually we found a second hand Pennine sandstone which was perfect for the job.

New quoins and copings were installed using Stoke Hall stone from Derbyshire. And Maysand re-pointed the whole structure using traditional lime mortar developed to replicate the colour and texture of the original. The roof was re-slated using specially quarried blue Welsh Pen Rhyn slate – again as used originally.

Now the Lions’ Den is once again the pride of Oldham and for Maysand that makes it particularly significant: “Being involved in something which means so much to our own community here in Oldham gave us an enormous sense of achievement.” adds Bryn.