SP3165 : An interpretation of Leamington's crest

taken 7 years ago, near to Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, Great Britain

An interpretation of Leamington's crest
An interpretation of Leamington's crest
Anyone who serves on a jury in Leamington's new Justice Centre may admire this piece in the jurors' waiting room. It is an etched and enamelled sheet of polished stainless steel, one of the few items saved from the unloved and dysfunctional 1970s magistrates' courts that until recently occupied part of the site. The photo was taken with permission, in less than ideal conditions, during a conducted tour of the building.

In the panel to the right the Arms and the Crest are described in the language of heraldry. The motto SOLA BONA QUĆ HONESTA (only those things that are honourable are good) was granted to the Royal Leamington Spa Borough Council on 6th November 1876. The interpretation continues:

“The division of the shield horizontally into gold and silver symbolises the manors of Leamington Priors and Newbold Comyn, which together formed the Borough of Royal Leamington Spa. The red mullets are from the arms of Willes, who held the Newbold Comyn estate, part of the original manor of Newbold Comyn. Edward Willes, who inherited the estate in 1820, was very largely responsible for the development of Leamington in its early days. The green lion comes from the arms of Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick, to whom Queen Elizabeth I granted the manors of Leamington Priors and Newbold Comyn in 1563. The lion covers both divisions of the shield to indicate that he held both manors. The chevron is from the arms of the Fishers of Packington, who inherited much of the property of Ambrose Dudley when he died without issue in 1589. The golden fleurs-de-lys on the border are derived from the arms of the Clinton family, one of whose members, Geoffrey de Clinton, founder of Kenilworth Castle and Priory, gave the manor of Leamington to the Priors of Kenilworth.

The ragged staff of the Earls of Warwick refers to Warwickshire, and the rod of Aesculapius denotes the health-giving qualities of the Spa. The forget-me-nots are supposed by the designer to be the badge of the Lords of Kenilworth when Leamington was under control of Leamington* Priory. There is a legend of the forget-me-not, attributing it as a badge to Henry, Duke of Hereford, later King Henry IV, however there is no evidence that either Henry IV or any other member of the House of Lancaster ever used the plant as a badge.”

* An error in the original: Kenilworth Priory is meant.
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SP3165, 1489 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 5 July, 2011   (more nearby)
Friday, 12 August, 2011
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Public buildings and spaces  City, Town centre  People, Events 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 3195 6567 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:17.2946N 1:31.9811W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 3195 6567
View Direction
Southeast (about 135 degrees)
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