Monday, December 5, 2022

(Some of the) Heraldry at King's College, Cambridge

All right, I've been putting this one off for a while. Not because I didn't like it, but because there is so much heraldry there - coats of arms, and badges, and whatnot - that it felt a little overwhelming.

And in fact, there is enough there that I'm going to have to break this up over several posts.

But I've gone through my photos taken at King's College now, cropping and straightening, and it's time to start sharing them with you.

To begin:

This is the image of King's College that most of us are familiar with. It is, in fact, a shot taken from along the back side of the College, and displays very well the Chapel (the large building in the center). I've seen it a number of times on the PBS-ITV show Grantchester, which is based in the actual village of Grantchester, a place within walking distance of Cambridge. It was rather fun to be walking about Cambridge myself and come to the view above, which I recognized immediately from the TV series, though without, of course, the stars of the show accompanying me there.

According to The Cambridge Armorial, King's College of St. Mary and St. Nicholas was founded by King Henry VI, who personally laid the first stone of a building on Passion Sunday in 1441. Arms were granted to the College on January 1, 1448/49, at the same time as similar arms were granted to the King's College of Our Lady of Eton Beside Windsor, better known now as simply Eton College, established by King Henry VI in 1440. Initially, King's College, Cambridge, only accepted students from Eton. The arms of the two institutions are very similar, and we will see both in our perambulations about King's College.

We start out at the rear entrance to King's College, where we find three different coats of arms:

Over the central gate we find the arms of King Henry VI, Quarterly France modern and England, supported by two heraldic antelopes.

Above the small gate on the right, we find the arms of Eton College, Sable three lilies argent on a chief per pale azure and gules a fleur-de-lys and a lion passant guardant or.

It is on the Members Only signs that we finally see the arms of King's College, which are identical to those of Eton College except that the lilies of Eton are now roses:

Next time, we go around front to see the main entrance to King's College, where we find the arms of King's College, the arms of Eton College, and a whole bunch of Royal badges.

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