Monday, May 27, 2024

Arms and Other Symbols in the Choir of York Minster, Part 2 of 3

Today is the second of three posts on the heraldry and other quasi-heraldic items found in the choir stalls in York Minster.

You will note that some of these are somewhat less heraldic than others.

Botevant, with a lesser-known attributed arms of St. Peter: Sable a rooster turned to sinister or beaked wattled and marked gules.

Ampleforth, with the arms of St. Hilda: Azure three serpents coiled or. (We have seen these in our previous post, representing the Bishop of Whitby by way of the arms of Whitby Abbey.) The coiled snakes are really ammonite fossils. According to legend, Abbess Hilda of Whitby Abbey rounded up the serpents that swarmed around the abbey. She hurled them from the cliffs, where they lost their heads and turned into stones.

Apesthorp: Azure an escarbuncle argent.

Bilton: Azure a cross (?) or and gules. I am at somewhat of a loss as to how to blazon this cross. It is almost quarterly and almost gyronny, without being either. (We run into exactly this same issue with the emblem for Knaresborough, below.) It's a pretty design, but I don't know how to blazon it.

Canonicus Laicus, Wilton: Argent on a lozenge azure a cross moline argent charged in the center with a delf bendwise argent marked sable. I have to admit, I don't know what the charge in the center of the cross is supposed to be. I was more than half-tempted to blazon it a "Rubik's cube", but have manfully resisted right until typing this comment.

Knaresborough: Sable a Maltese cross (?) argent and azure. As with Bilton, above, I don't know how to blazon the division of the cross here. It's pretty, but blazoning it is a problem.

Next time, the final part of the heraldry and quasi-heraldry in the choir at York Minster.

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