Beamish Museum's 'much-loved' shire horse Lion dies after 18 years at the County Durham attraction

Much-loved shire horse, Lion who spent most of his life at Beamish Museum in County Durham has sadly died aged 22.

By Georgina Cutler
Thursday, 4th November 2021, 2:23 pm
Tributes have been paid to Shire horse Lion.
Tributes have been paid to Shire horse Lion.

Tributes have been paid to Shire horse Lion, a "firm favourite" among visitors at Beamish Museum, after he sadly passed away at 22-years-old.

Lion had spent most of his life at Beamish Museum in County Durham arriving in 2003 with owner Jim Elliott, who took on the role of Museum Stockman and brought both Lion and Prince, his trusty work colleagues, with him.

The 22-year-old horse also made appearances on Downton Abbey and Victorian Farm during his time at the museum.

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Lion spent most of his life at Beamish.

Lion was one half of owner Jim’s multi prize-winning plough team for many years and helped him to win every major competition they entered – while he also won several agricultural turnout classes at local and county shows.

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Described as “a large, powerful horse, true to the old-fashioned Shire horse stamp, with a very amenable character and solid-as-a-rock demeanour”, Lion’s colleagues at the museum have now paid tribute to the “wise and experienced” horse.

In a statement online a Beamish Museum spokesperson said: “Lion could turn his hoof to most things, from ploughing and farm work to pulling omnibuses, charabancs, road sweepers and delivering goods on site.

"All being done with incredible ease, he also gave a lot of people a lot of pleasure, whether doing traditional experiences or greeting visitors.

"Lion was a firm favourite with visitors, staff and volunteers alike, and will be a huge miss.”

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