It was a very well-attended evening at the Gill Nethercott Centre for a special illustrated talk that linked Heraldry to Inn signs.

I’m off down the Pub – ‘the use of heraldry in Public House and Inn signs’”.

Nearly 50 people listened intently as local History Society Chairman John Mariner ran through the use of the heraldic features used in many of todays public houses from the beginnings to the present day.

A local inn sign including a Coat of Arms with an interesting error – possibly deliberate. Note this actual sign has been replaced by a new one. (pic©JB)

A local inn sign including a Coat of Arms with an interesting error – possibly deliberate.
Note this actual sign has been replaced by a new one. (pic©JB)

The talk was full of interesting facts on how Coats of Arms are created by the College of Arms and how they are now often used as part of our UK public house culture.

They are understood to have been introduced when knights took to wearing armour and a means to identify which side an opponent was on in battle was required. The designs were placed on the shields and also on the knight’s surcoat which covered the armour hence the origin of ‘coat’ of arms. It was heralds who identified the knights when they were killed or injured in battle.

Some have royal or family connections dating back many centuries while others may be linked to trades or locations. All Coats of Arms are unique and are made of of mana number of different parts all with different meanings and interpretations. Some also have deliberate humorous elements or hidden meanings.

John ended the evening by taking a variety of questions – it truly was an enthralling, and very deep subject steeped in history and tradition.

These History talks take place at the Gill Nethercott Centre on the first Tuesday of every month.
All are welcome.

johnb