Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Newcastle-upon-Tyne Coat of Arms

Official Blazon:

Arms : Gules three Castles triple towered Argent (Red shield, three triple-towered silver castles).

Crest : On a Wreath of the Colours a Castle as in the Arms issuant therefrom a demi Lion guardant supporting a Flagstaff Or flying therefrom a forked Pennon of the Arms of Saint George (On a wreath of the same colours, a castle – as in the Arms – issues therefrom, from which a golden lion supports a forked flag of St.George).

Supporters : On either side a Sea Horse proper crined and finned Or (On either side stand sea-horses, trimmed in gold).


The arms were granted in 1575 (though were in use unofficially from the 1300s), but were not confirmed until as late as 1954 by the College of Arms.

The oldest part of the coat of arms, the triple-castled shield, goes back to earliest times – the town taking its name from the "New Castle" built by order of Robert Curthose, eldest son of William the Conqueror, in 1080. The earliest surviving example of the three silver castles on a red shield, dating from about 1400, is in the window on the north side of the Chancel of St. John’s church.

In the crest, added later, the castle motif is repeated; and the lion’s forepaws grasp the flag of St. George. The castle stands upon a wreath of red and white above a tilting helmet, with eye slit of fifteenth century style.

The supporters, mythical sea-horses, shaded in green with gold manes, fins and tails, are a reminder that Newcastle is a seaport. Both the supporters and crest were added to the shield by grant of William Flower, Norroy King of Arms, dated 16th August 1575.

The motto, Fortiter Defendit Triumphans (‘Triumphing by Brave Defence’) was adopted during the English Civil War following the stubborn (but ultimately unsuccessful) defence of the town against the Scots in 1644.

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