For many years, the triangular plot in front of The Red Lion was the landlord’s garden. It was also a traffic bottleneck, ‘Bitterne Fork’, where the rural High Street (now Bitterne Road) was joined by a country lane (Bursledon Road). The V-shaped fork has long been replaced by a pedestrian precinct. The Red Lion remains, built in the 1860s, in front of an earlier pub of the same name. The original Red Lion, from the 1830s, was a coaching inn.
A plaque documenting the history of The Red Lion.
The plaque reads: This long standing public house was built in the 1860s, in front of an earlier pub of the same name. The original Red Lion, built in the 1830s, was a coaching inn on the route to Chichester.
The much-changed area at the front of the present pub was the landlord’s garden, situated where the rural High Street (now Bitterne Road) was joined by a county lane, at a traffic bottleneck known as Bitterne Fork. The stone lion was erected here on 23 June 1987. Originally, the eye catching sculpture looked out over Bitterne from the top of the nearby, but now long gone, Lion Place. It has since become the symbol of the town.
These premises were refurbished by J D Wetherspoon and opened in March 2017.
Sketches of the stone lion – the symbol of the town.
Original hand sketches depicting The Church of the Holy Saviour, Bitterne.
This site was originally constructed in the 1840s, comprising four small shops with accommodation above.
An illustration depicting Southampton of the past.
External photograph of the building – main entrance.
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