The cat in a castle, holding a rat in its mouth, is a fairly direct depiction of a specific event. Hornby Castle was infested by rats in the mid-19th Century, so the then-owner, Mr Pudsey Dawson (a Director of the Little North Western Railway), introduced a large number of cats.
The stone was originally set into 'Cat and Rat Bridge', which carried the railway over the Lancaster road, but was moved here when the line expanded and the bridge was rebuilt in iron.
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