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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The Key Holder

"K" is for "Key" and today's photo shows the stone head of a lion, with a key in its mouth, above the door of the NatWest Bank on the corner of Warrington Street and Old Street in Ashton.

I have tried in vain to find some meaning to this. Presumably there is something symbolic about a lion with a key in its mouth, as there is a similar one in Stalybridge. The back of the old five pound notes at one time showed a lion with a key, although the key was attached to its mouth by a chain. Perhaps someone reading this can offer an answer?

(Click photo for larger version. Press Back button to return here.)

A close-up of the lion can be seen in the photo below.

See Google Street View of this location.

"The Key Holder" is a contribution to ABC Wednesday. For more "K" posts from around the world please follow this link.

Please leave a comment below.


  1. I'm not sure about the key yet, but the lion as it appears on the pound note is a symbol of Great Britain, it often appears together with Britannia (who was on the front of the note). So I would assume that this is the case for your lion as well. I'll let you know if I find out about the key.

  2. Is that a key in his mouth or is he really glad to see you?

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  3. This is so cool! I love the close-up and I love a mystery. Maybe next year you will have an answer for us all as to why that key is in the lion's mouth!

  4. Apparently the lion's head holding a key is a Victorian symbol designed to impress wrongdoers with the power and dignity of the law.

  5. This lion doesn't look very friendly ! and what an enormous key !
    I prefer grilled chicken !
    ABC Team

  6. I wanted to sign
    ABC team
    and had forgotten that I had copied this chicken sentence before, lol sorry !

  7. I don't do the ABC posts but I have recently started to show off the beauties of the South Shropshire Hills on My World.There are so many beautiful places in the UK that should be shown.

    I'm afraid I don't know Ashton, as for the key: there are many lion door knockers, could it be a symbol for a guardian?

  8. The key is different from the 1980's picture

  9. Would imagine the lion symbolizes strength, the key security.none of which would apply these days.

  10. I don’t know what the lion with a key on the mouth really means; in my own opinion I think it symbolized something that is deeper than our thoughts or maybe, the strength is the key; sort of I’m just not sure about it.


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