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Marks & Spencer's–Lion and Unicorn

Page updated 30th August 2017

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These two animal figures are the last of a more decorative and individual approach to shop front decoration in the nineteenth century. They were over No 2 Queen Street, which in 1897 was Broom and Reid the chemists. They later became Broom, Reid and Harris, opticians and photographic supplies, who remained there until the block was redeveloped in between 1979 and 1981. The figures date from the first decades of the nineteenth century when the shops were built for Mr George Ferris.

After the war, Marks & Spencer occupied a newly built store at 247 High Street, on the corner of Castle Street. After the development of the Golden Heart project that saw the Guildhall Centre open in 1977, Marks & Spencer purchased the old Walton's Store site and had a new, state of art shop constructed on the corner of High Street and Queen Street. They took some trouble to retain some of the architectural features of the site. The Lion and the Unicorn, along with the iron window box which they guarded were placed over the side entrance in Queen Street, close to their original position over Broom & Reid.

Broom Reid and Harris

Broom Reid and Harris with the Lion and Unicorn over the shop front.

Lion and the Unicorn

The Lion and Unicorn over the side entrance of Marks and Spencer.

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