As Guardian of the Bridge, Langdon the Lion’s main responsibility is to provide passage over, under or across the River Medway.
The main way he does this is by maintaining the bridges to the highest standard, carrying out routine maintenance or more in-depth refurbishment as needed. This engineering is very important if the bridges are to stay safe for the public to use.
However this work does not just happen – it needs to be paid for. More than 600 years ago, the people who established the Rochester Bridge Trust knew the importance of funding all the bridge works, and so they set up an estate by asking their friends to donate land and money. That estate still exists today, with some properties – such as Langdon Manor Farm in Faversham – continuing to stay in the Trust’s ownership.
This means Langdon has an interest in farming. He can’t look after all the land himself (although he does enjoy taking part in the harvest, his big paws mean he’s excellent at baling hay), so instead he rents the land out to farmers.
Langdon is also keen to encourage the next generation of farmers, so when he’s not to be seen on one of Rochester’s bridges it’s probably because he’s at an agricultural event, hanging out with one of his Spence Agricultural Scholars, or drawing up activities for his new education programme – come back soon to find out more!