Walking downstream from Richmond to Kew this afternoon I was surprised to see -I had to look twice- that the lion was missing from the top of Syon House. I wondered about my eyesight.
This evening I learn that I was not mistaken. The lion was lifted down in March for restoration.
The lion is the crest of the Percy family, better known as the Duke of Northumberland family, and this big version dates from 1749. He first stood downstream on the top of riverside Northumberland House which gave way to Northumberland Avenue off Trafalgar Square. Since the 1874 he has been on the roof of the Duke’s country house at Syon.
At Kew Green I found a cricket match and the church open. On the way to the station I called in at the teashop in Kew Road to buy some Maids of Honour cakes which are made to a secret Tudor recipe. Back home I warmed them up as instructed. Delicious.