ONE of Malpas' most famous historic artefacts is set to return to its spiritual home in the village next month.

The 'King's Chair' as it is known is a chair that was sat in by the first Stuart monarch, King James I – who reigned between 1603 and 1625 – after he stopped off at the Red Lion Inn, in Old Hall Street.

Legend has it that more than one royal customers has sat upon the chair, with it being brought out for the Empress of Austria during her hunting visits to Cheshire in the 1800s.

The chair was owned by the Lever family, previous landlords of the Red Lion and resided in the pub. But after the pub was sold in 2017 and subsequently closed for renovations a fundraiser was launched to purchase the chair and keep it in a safe place until the pub reopened once again.

With the pub now set to open its doors again next month, the chair will once again reside at the renamed Lion at Malpas.

Nigel Shone, one of the people involved in the original fundraiser to purchase the chair says it will once again feature in a 'prominent' place in the pub.

"I have it on very good authority, that the Red Lion, or The Lion at Malpas as it will be called in the future, will be opening its doors to the public on Thursday, September 16," said Nigel.

"Prior to this opening date the historic King James' chair will be reinstated within the pub.

"The chair was bought at auction in 2017 by an enthusiastic group of Malpas people who were keen for the chair to remain within the village.

"Subsequent talks with the present owners has allowed the chair to be situated back in its rightful place – in a prominent area within the newly refurbished pub.

"Alongside the chair will appear two plaques, one is an extract from Pigot and Co's National Directory of 1828, which describes King James' visit to Malpas during his reign and of the night he spent at the Red Lion drinking with the locals, which included the vicar and his curate.

"The other plaque names all the people and organisations that donated money towards the cost of the purchase and restoration.

"The chair will belong in perpetuity to the village of Malpas and is not the property of The Lion, as an official document signed by both the original purchase group and Malpas Parish Council will attest."

The pub's management confirmed the chair is being reinstated at the pub ahead of opening day on Thursday, September 16.