Monday, May 1, 2023

It's Heraldry, But Whose Is It?

So, having introduced you last time to the village of Grantchester, England, today we're starting to look at the heraldry which can be found there.

Today's stop takes by the Green Man pub which, when we were there in August 2022 was closed, as you can clearly see here. (It reopened, under new management, in January 2023, sporting a new paint job and, presumably, a new, or at least fully repaired, roof! See the picture of the building at the bottom of this page on their website:

Alas, the renovation seems to have done away with the two coats of arms which were on the righthand gable when we were visiting.

And here's the close-up. (Of course, you can click on any of these images to see a larger, more detailed photograph.)

On the left, we have Two lions passant guardant in pale, which might be the arms of Normandy (Gules two lions passant guardant in pale or). Or not; it's hard to be sure when there are no colors, and there are nearly five pages of two lions, mostly passant guardant, listed in Papworth's Ordinary of British Armorials.

On the right, we find A lion rampant, which could be any of a huge number of possible coats of arms*, again depending on the colors, which we cannot tell from this monochrome rendering.

So that's the first heraldry we saw on our side trip to Grantchester. And while, if you go there yourself, you can eat or have an ale at the reopened Green Man pub (and I will say, their food looks good), you will not, alas, find these two shields there anymore.

* The category of "Beast - Lion" takes up 34½ pages in Papworth's Ordinary, though those entries also include lions passant, lions queue-forchy, lions double-tailed, and shields divided per pale, per fess, and quarterly, as well as those with strewn charges (semy) or some kind of field treatment. Still, that's a lot of lions rampant to search through, when this is as likely to simply be an heraldic-looking decoration as it is to reproduce a specific coat of arms.

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