ABERGAVENNY is a very long way from the plains of Africa, so visitors to the Sugar Loaf might have been a bit surprised to see majestic lion at the top of the mountain.

The large lion - don't worry, it was only a model - was taken to the top of the Sugar Loaf by 57-year-old Steve Bancroft and his friend Mark Taylor, just in time to watch the sunrise.

South Wales Argus:

(The majestic lion overseeing his pride from the summit of the Sugar Loaf)

Mr Bancroft explained the idea behind the unusual outing on Tuesday, August 13 . He said: “I own a prop hire company and always get asked by clients how the props look.

“Although they are usually used in hotels, I like to put them in striking locations as it can inspire people to see the setting more.”


The idea for putting a lion on top of the Sugar Loaf came after Mr Bancroft saw a the trailer for Disney's new version of The Lion King, and one scene in particular stuck out to him.

South Wales Argus:

(This lion prefers to be carried rather than prowl on his trip to the Sugar Loaf)

“I remembered there being a scene with Simba on Pride Rock during the sunset and thought it would be a good idea to recreate it," he said.

“We set off at 4.30am and got to the top just in time for the sunrise at 6am. We trollied the 40lbs prop most of the way up, but had to carry it for the last couple of hundred metres as it had become too steep.

“Originally, we thought about taking it to Diving Drop in the Brecon Beacons as we walk there quite often, but it was too steep to be able to work,” he added.

Despite all the effort to get it to the top, the lion was only there for an hour.

This is not the first time Gwent's skyline has had an unusual visitor courtesy of Mr Bancroft - this time last year he set up a replica of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro on the top of Cwmbran's Twmbarlwm.

Mr Bancroft does have some other plans to showcase some of his props from Event Prop Shop in Pontnewydd, Cwmbran but we will have to wait and see if more large animals make their way into the Gwent countryside.