Painting showing a lioness attacking horses of mail coach outside a pub

Lion attack near Salisbury – 1816

We recently found this framed print in our storeroom that used to be displayed in the doctor’s rooms. Not a healthcare story as such but an interesting local legend!

The artwork, by Robert Pollard, illustrates the story of a lioness attacking the mail coach a short distance from Salisbury, outside the Pheasant Inn at Winterslow on the night of Sunday 20th October 1816.
The story goes that the horses of the mail coach, running between Exeter and London, were ambushed by a lioness who had escaped from a wild animal show heading to Salisbury Fair. The incident came to national attention after the lion and horse were paraded in Salisbury by the animal attraction owner!

You can read the full story at


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