George and Dragon Sculpture - Knutsford, Cheshire, UK.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Poole/Freeman
N 53° 18.286 W 002° 22.413
30U E 541744 N 5906357
Quick Description: The sculpture of George and the Dragon is located on the former Royal George Hotel on King Street in Knutsford town centre.
Location: North West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 8/23/2020 5:45:43 AM
Waymark Code: WM1310F
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 2

Long Description:
The relief sculpture of George and the Dragon is located on the former Royal George Hotel on King Street in Knutsford town centre.

A blue plaque mounted on the wall of the former Royal George Hotel is inscribed as follows;

Knutsford Town Coat of Arms

ROYAL GEORGE HOTEL
Early coaching inn formerly the
'George and Dragon'
Became 'Royal' following visit by
Princess Victoria in 1832.

KNUTSFORD TOWN COUNCIL


The former Royal George Hotel was originally an ancient hostelry and later coaching inn named the George and Dragon.
There are two relief sculptures that depict George with the slain dragon at his feet on either side of the courtyard entrance on King Street.

The two relief sculptures on either side of the archway show George in grey wearing his armour with a red cross on a white background on his chest.
On the right hand side George is shown kneeling and fighting with the dragon.
The left hand side shows him standing with his feet on either side of the dragon that is lying on its back. The dragons feet and tail are in the air and its head is impaled by a pike being held by George.
The scene is outlined in red with a decorative surround of elaborately carved green leaves.

The name changed and became ‘Royal’ following a visit by Princess Victoria in 1832. Princess Victoria (later Queen Victoria) and Winston Churchill both stayed at the hotel.

The former Royal George Hotel is a Grade II listed building, the description by British Listed Buildings can be seen at the following link: (visit link)

History
"The Royal George Hotel in King Street was one of the main landmarks and is steeped in history.
Built in the 14th century, the tavern was originally called the White Swan. Its name is thought to come from the time of the War of the Roses when Queen Margaret visited Chester in 1455 and distributed swan emblems to be worn as a token of love to the king'.
But it was renamed The George and Dragon in 1727. Some believe this was to commemorate the accession of George II but more recent studies have shown this to be inaccurate.
The Royal' prefix was added in 1832 when the Duchess of Kent visited with the young Princess Victoria, five years before she became queen.
They stayed there as guests during visits to Chatsworth.
Another somewhat more ominous patron was Highwayman Higgins - alias Edward Hickson - who lived a double life in the 1750s and 60s wining and dining by day and burgling the local gentry by night.
He managed to commit a number of audacious burglaries until his luck ran out in 1764 when he was tracked down for robbing a house in Gloucester. This certainly came as a shock to his unsuspecting wife.
He fled to Bristol and continued his crime spree until 1767 when he was caught in Carmathen by two butchers and locked up in Bristol. He was hanged that year.

The George used to house a desk in an alcove under the stairs in the hall. This was believed to have been used by frequent patron Lord Nelson when arranging a rendezvous with Lady Hamilton, who lived in Cheshire.

Gaskell's Cranford - based on her experiences in Knutsford - also has many scenes set in the Royal George, such as when the ladies went to see the magical tricks of conjurer Signor Brunoni in the pub's assembly room.
The assembly room had been added to the inn about 100 years earlier by county families raising subscriptions. They met there once a month during the winter to dance and play cards.

The Grade II listed building closed in 2001 to make way for a £15million development of shops, restaurants, offices and apartments."
SOURCE: (visit link) (visit link)

The building was completely redeveloped in 2006 and converted into offices that are accessed via a modern entrance, situated under the archway just off King Street. The relief art sculptures remain on either side of the archway.
The building was up for sale at the time of this visit (June 2019)
(visit link)
Address:
King Street, Congleton, Cheshire, England, UK.


Artist: Not listed

Web URL to relevant information: Not listed

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Mike_bjm visited George and Dragon Sculpture - Knutsford, Cheshire, UK. 6/23/2019 Mike_bjm visited it