Chelsea's Blue Lion to Guard Gates of Stamford Bridge

Football club's new owner plans to install "innovative artistic" sculptures

Possibly site for one of the new lion rampant sculptures

September 18, 2023

Chelsea FC’s new American owner Todd Boehly is planning to bring the club’s beloved ‘lion rampant regardant’ logo to life, by erecting two crested sculptures at the main entrances to Stamford Bridge.

The club has applied to Hammersmith & Fulham Council for permission to erect the sculptures, which will be almost eight feet high, on top of the security hut at the western Britannia Gate and at the entrance to the eastern Stamford Gate.

A letter accompanying the application from planning consultancy Lichfields says, “ As the Council will be aware, Chelsea FC changed ownership in May 2022 and its new owners have made a commitment to upgrading the Stadium’s facilities and appearance to positively transform the visitor experience.

“Consistent with this approach, this application proposes to install sculptures at the Britannia and Stamford Gates, which will refresh the appearance of the Stadium’s entrances and draw upon the Club’s long history with an innovative artistic design.”

The letter says the sculptures are not considered to be adverts but instead are artistic structures, presenting statement features set back from the entrances to Stamford Bridge Stadium.

They will be made up of seven two-dimensional aluminium panels with a blue coating, fixed together to create a visually and physically lightweight artwork of the heraldic Lion Regardant.

Another lion would be placed at Stamford Gate
Another lion would be placed at Stamford Gate

The letter continues: “ At Britannia Gate, the artwork will deliver an enhancement on the outlook of the Site over the otherwise utilitarian entrance to the Stadium grounds, in-keeping with the surrounding heritage of Moore Park.

“ Similarly, the proposal replaces an existing totem sign with a visually lightweight design, creating a point of interest at the Stadium grounds’ road entrance without adding height over the existing totem, sheltered by existing trees.”

The letter concludes: “ Overall, the very limited nature of the Proposed Development involving the erection of a sculpture at Stamford Gate and atop the existing security gate hut will deliver enhancements on the outlook of the entrances to Stamford Bridge Stadium from Fulham Road. On this basis, and with respect to the policy support for this application, it is hoped the Council can consider it positively.”

The Britannia Gate entrance to Stamford Bridge

The club crest with the upright blue lion looking backwards and holding a staff was introduced in 1953 and was based on elements in the coat of arms of the Metropolitan Borough of Chelsea. The “lion rampant regardant" was taken from the arms of then club president Viscount Chelsea and the staff from the Abbots of Westminster, former Lords of the Manor of Chelsea.

The crest has gone through various updates since then, but the lion and his staff, or the " lion rampant regardant azure supporting with the forepaws a crozier or all within an annulet azure" has remained.

The application, which is open for comments until October 4, can be seen in full along with supporting documents on the council website using the reference 2023/02305/FUL.

The football club is also proposing to renovate the former Chelsea Club, the luxurious health club at the rear of the stadium which was closed down last year, to create a new hospitality suite it is calling The Rose and Ball.

Chelsea Health Club & Spa

An application has been submitted to H&F Council for a Premises Licence for The Rose And Ball, which it describes as a hospitality suite for match days at Stamford Bridge.

The club says, “ This application seeks to renovate the pre-existing 'Health Club' setting. Chelsea Football Club propose to create an additional hospitality space, within the building portfolio; capitalising on underused space on the first floor, in addition to the already licensed ground floor.”

If given the green light, The Rose and Ball will serve alcohol on the premises between the hours of 10am and midnight.

This licensing application is also open for comments until 3 October and can be found on the council website using the reference 2023/01413/LAPR.

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